Why Chatbots threaten disruption

This piece was published in the Irish Times on April 18th last.

Do you care which one ? Sometimes, a pizza is just a pizza, isn’t it ? A taxi is just a taxi, as long as it turns up and gets you there? A paper, maybe like this Irish Times, is just a newspaper, right? With our busy lives, frequently we just want to get things done and not think too much about it.

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Can Machines Think? DeepMind

This piece appeared in the Irish Times on March 28th last.

Can machines think?

Well, what does it mean ‘to think’? Thinking about thought is a journey into philosophy. Instead Alan Turing asked a different question in 1950: can machines do what humans (who are thinking entities) do ? Continue reading

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Engineering appreciation

I wrote this piece because I feel that we are too often we taught narrow paths,  by teachers who themselves have a limited perspective.   There is beauty in most things,  if we can calm ourselves to look;   and there are parallels in most creations,  if we can stand back and extrapolate.

Published in the Irish Times on 29th February last….

The dispute between Apple and the FBI over unlocking the encrypted iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook in the San Bernadino (California) shootings last December is being followed with concern by the technology industry, regulatory authorities and the security services in the US and elsewhere. A recent article in the UK Guardian newspaper on the 22nd February caught my attention when it described the cultural challenges within the Apple security software engineering team in being asked to deliberately break their own software code. Continue reading

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Singapore’s vs Ireland’s start-up ecosystems

A recent visit to Singapore inspired me to put pen to paper on a comparison with Ireland as a start-up ecosystem.  This was published on 8th February 2016:

You’re a start-up executive and have opened your company in the heart of a strong start-up community. You want to network with other executives, and for your team to do likewise. You’re keen to track what is going on, to uncover opportunities to collaborate, and – yes – to enjoy the gossip. And, right now you have a little spare space in your office.

So maybe you could take inspiration from Harry Dewhurst at BlisMediaContinue reading

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How well has the Irish Government done for Innovation in the last five years?

The current Irish Government has reached the end of its natural life and an election has been announced for the end of February.   I wrote this piece for January 17th when asked to review the performance of the Government on Innovation..

A general election is imminent. In 2011, Enda Kenny campaigned to make Ireland the best small country in the world to do business. Five years later, how well have he and his colleagues in Government delivered on this assertion ? Continue reading

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Technology Review of 2015

Asked to summarise the year by my editor,  I wrote this piece for the Irish Times for the 21st December:

How significant a year has 2015 been for the computer industry? Continue reading

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What next with Cloud Computing?

Google made an interesting announcement this week.   It brought to mind Larry Ellison’s vision,  but then at the time mis-executed,  of a “network computer” (yes,  I know,  I have a few grey hairs).

This piece was published in November….

“A PC is a ridiculous device”. So Oracle CEO Larry Ellison raged 20 years ago in September 1995, in a warm-up speech at an analyst conference in Paris ahead of Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. Continue reading

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