Watson makes (your) it elementary

August 29, 2014

VentureBeat writes:

Big Blue tonight announced the Watson Discovery Advisor, a cloud-based tool that will let researchers tap into Watson’s big data processing smarts to speed up their work.

Remember Watson? It is the computer system built by Big Blue that understands natural languange. So much so, that it competed and won on Jeorpardy! against real human opponents.

Now available to researchers, some luck students, startups and anyone with a good idea (and presumably deep pockets!)

How long before we all have Watson-like tech in our pockets?

Starting to sound a lot like Her


Singularity Summit Australia Opening

September 8, 2010

Stelarc – 1, originally uploaded by Matthew Hall.

The opening night of the Singularity Summit Australia 2010 blew my mind. All I can say at this point is you really need to be in Melbourne for the main event this coming weekend!

Tickets available through EventBrite

Programme details at the Singularity Institute


I am guest blogging over at Tested on Humans

November 24, 2008

Sure I haven’t been real blogging here very much – I do find that Twitter satisfies most of my blogging urges, since most of my blogging is pointing out links it works very well for that.

However there are other topics that come up, and one of those is in the health arena. Always interested in (legal) supplements that can improve my life, here’s a chance to take some action. There’s a small group of us who are undertaking an experiment in EPA – the omega-3 fatty acid that comes predominately from fish oil.

We’re blogging our experiences at the blog Tested on Humans, described as “Medical experiments and body hacks undertaken by a group of friends.” Actually the correct term is probably more like a contributing blogger than a guest blogger, but that’s just details.

So my second post on this nascent blog is here :

You want me to swallow what?

[…] a liquid fish oil, created using molecular distillation to minimise the heavy metal content […]

Over there my handle is Matthew.


Why monkey brains tell me you can only have 150 friends

May 10, 2008

This is a fascinating and funny article explaining the Dunbar number – the maximum practical number of real ‘friend’ relationships you can sustain at any given moment in time.

What is the Monkeysphere? | Cracked.com

Think about this the next time you get really pissed off in traffic, when you start throwing finger gestures and wedging your head out of the window to scream, “LEARN TO FUCKING DRIVE, FUCKER!!” Try to imagine acting like that in a smaller group. Like if you’re standing in an elevator with two friends and a coworker, and the friend goes to hit a button and accidentally punches the wrong one. Would you lean over, your mouth two inches from her ear, and scream “LEARN TO OPERATE THE FUCKING ELEVATOR BUTTONS, SHITCAMEL!!”

They’d think you’d gone insane. We all go a little insane, though, when we get in a group larger than the Monkeysphere. That’s why you get that weird feeling of anonymous invincibility when you’re sitting in a large crowd, screaming curses at a football player you’d never dare say to his face.


Mind Hacks, Mark Pesce and Maniacal Laughter

April 19, 2008

What do they have in common? Well they’re all a part of blog post over at the After Laughter blog, a new experimental project I am involved with.

Laugh and the world laughs with you

[…] Perhaps most importantly, however, laughter builds rapport among strangers […]

This post is a combined effort between myself and the Frazzled Mum, it is about the link between humour and laughter. As it turns out, the Mind Hacks blog noticed the link is not a one-to-one relationship, rather instead laughter has other uses than simply a reaction to humour. It is a social lubricant – and that’s where Mark Pesce comes in 🙂

So please drop on over to After Laughter, have a read and perhaps even subscribe to our newsletter for access to an mp3 of real laughter. The experiment continues.


Recreational Autism?

February 8, 2008

Wow – this is fascinating research, which is perilously close to becoming available by the sounds of things.

Neuroscience: One Pill Makes You Autistic — And One Pill Changes You Back

Over the past year, researchers have demonstrated several times that they can turn mice autistic by messing with brain chemistry — and then “cure” them using the same techniques. The discoveries could lead to a scenario similar to the one in Vernor Vinge’s novel A Deepness in the Sky, where people are given a brain treatment called “focusing” that essentially turns them autistic and makes them obsessive, detail-oriented workers.

It might also lead to recreational autism, where people who want to take a break from having messy emotions about other people decide to unplug and enter a state where human relationships are no more important than inanimate objects.


Synaesthesia to try at home (sort of)

January 4, 2008

This from the new Sci-Fi blog io9 :

Neuroscience: Fully-Functioning Synaesthesia Machine

You’ve probably heard about synaesthesia, the glamorous neurological condition in which people’s senses get swapped so that they smell colors and feel words. Now a group of roboticists and bioengineers have got a working prototype of a little machine that gives you the synaesthetic ability to feel things you see.