OpenAI’s new multitalented AI writes, translates, and slanders

The Verge reports on efforts by OpenAI to create a language modelling program that could emulate the writing style of a real human. This quote caught my eye: “The writing it produces is usually easily identifiable as non-human. Although its grammar and spelling are generally correct, it tends to stray off topic, and the text […]

Ford made a conveyor belt mattress to keep bed hoggers in their own lane

According to The Verge: the company most likely to improve couples’ relationships and save marriages is actually… Ford? The company has been known to develop conceptual prototypes that utilize its car technology in unexpected ways, like this smart crib that puts babies fast asleep by replicating car rides, or this noise-canceling dog kennel. This time, […]

The potato solution: how the Guardian switched to biodegradable packaging

Some background on The Guardian’s recent decision to begin using plastic derived from potatoes to wrap its supplements: Last year we used approximately 25 tonnes of plastic for wrapping, which is about half a tonne a week. We knew we had to find an alternative. The newsprint we use for newspapers, however, is more than […]

Donald Trump’s anti-immigration stance threatens the heart of American innovation

Because Trump has flip-flopped on the topic in the past, it’s uncertain whether he’ll heed the advice of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and others to allow more foreign-born computer scientists and software engineers to fill US jobs. In fact, despite his supporters’ defense that Trump is focusing on illegal immigrants, his proposals may in fact […]

Planet Earth II’s 360-degree videos are a great escape

Not a lot of people know this but the BBC is one of the leading researchers in areas related to broadcasting and other technology. They invented Nicam stereo, teletext and much more besides. The microphones they developed in the 1930s are still the basis of many of those we use today. One area they’ve been […]

This LG fridge opens for you automatically – all life’s problems solved

Watch this on The Scene. Great news from LG. They’ve finally solved one of life’s biggest problems: LG’s new fridge has two big features. The first is the door itself, which now has what LG calls its Knock-On feature, which allows you to simply knock on the door to reveal what’s inside. Put more simply: […]

Japanese bookshop stocks only one book at a time

A story from The Guardian on a bookstore in Japan that’s hit upon a novel approach to helping people choose what to read next. “This bookstore that sells only one book could also be described as ‘a bookstore that organises an exhibition derived from a single book’. For instance, when selling a book on flowers, […]

Saving Design Thinking from itself

Sevra Davis writing for the RSA on a danger facing ‘design thinking’  And yet, as more and more businesses, governments and institutions describe themselves as ‘design-led’ ‘design thinking’ is in danger of being devalued. Too much of what is practiced under the name of design thinking seems to comprise little more than running structured workshops. […]

Using kaizen to improve higher education courses

(Note: entries like this are my ‘thinking out loud’ as I explore my PhD research topic of innovation in teaching and learning, so are aimed at a very specific audience – me! Feel free to share, quote, comment, argue, contradict etc) This is a summary of a paper by ML ‘Bob’ Emiliani, Using kaizen to […]

Quality Assurance v Quality Enhancement – what’s the difference?

What’s the difference between Quality Assurance and Quality Enhancement? They sound the same but both are very different philosophies. For a number of years – at least as long as I’ve been teaching – QA was a key aspect of further and higher education in the UK with entire departments dedicated to it. The Quality […]