ChatGPT is all the rage right now. An artificial intelligence that combines the functions of Google/Siri/anything that searches the net for information and a contract writer, such as one you might hire on Fiverr to create a poem/essay/ode to the sugary drink you are currently addicted to. The likes of chatGPT may soon answer our emails, write documents and create… Read More »If an AI Wrote my Christmas Letter…
I liked the book ‘What to Think about Machines that Think’ immediately. Along with the jaunty title, it has a snappy structure – approximately 185 mini essays, brain bytes, by sage people about AIs (artificial intelligences). Each contribution is 3 or 4 pages long which is apparently how long a thought is when written down. The essayists responded to ‘What… Read More »Ruminations about Artificial Intelligence. Part 1: Humans are Smarter because we’re more Primitive
In southern Ontario, squirrels are a fast-moving fixture. They have adapted nicely from whatever their original habitat was to living amongst humans, although this arrangement seems to work better for the squirrels than some humans. ‘Squirrelly’ means erratic behaviour. It should be upgraded to include annoying, destructive, nasty, invasive actions, with occasional cute frolicking. And respectful acknowledgement of hanging out,… Read More »Squirrelly in the Backyard
As a scientist who specializes in business strategy, competitive advantage means two things to me: how to succeed in business and how biological species evolve. I’m enjoying the irony that the goal of capitalist pursuits might be mistaken for a fundamental, back-to-nature, biological process. We value nature with an instinctive appreciation that it sustains us. But that isn’t quite right.… Read More »Competitive Advantage or Competitive Advantage? Business or Biology
Recent moves by various governments have declared dolphins, dogs, cats, chimpanzees, and even animals in general, sentient beings1. What does this mean – the definition of sentience is consciousness of sensory perceptions, but how does it specify the way animals should be treated? A declaration that animals are sentient, like humans, provokes visions of trying to get dolphins to vote… Read More »Do I Know What’s Good for my Cat?
This series began with my admiration of the Professor from Gilligan’s Island as an iconic scientist. My wonderment has long since evaporated into frustration because members of a profession I believe have noble motivations are frequently called into question. The two major factors I think are involved: the source of funding for scientific research (previous blog post), and the pressure… Read More »The Evolution of Evil Scientists. Part 2: The Public Posts
When I was a little girl, the professor from Gillian’s Island was my hero. He was smart, unassuming, and solved a lot of problems. I deduced that scientists were incredible. As clever as physicians, with the power to save lives, but much cooler, as they shunned the limelight. Later in TV history came McGuyer, who fixed an awful lot of… Read More »The Evolution of the Evil Scientist. Part 1. The Money.
Corporations might be legal persons but they don’t have DNA. This expression ‘in our DNA’ is a thorn in the eye of my scientist’s sensibilities when it’s used to describe organizations. I know, it’s just an expression that means something fundamental to behaviour, beliefs or actions. Fair enough as a metaphor. But, I don’t like it. Because of my propensity… Read More »Is it really in your DNA?
I can’t explain how I just came across this article posted on the CBC website in February, but I’m glad I did. The title and tag-line are evocative : ‘Cities causing genetic changes in plants, animals. Wild things may be changing at a genetic level to survive in modern cities.’ Genetic changes [may have occurred], but not necessarily mutations due to environmental… Read More »Isn’t Adaptation a Good Thing?