Feeds

Warwick Watch: SFX, lies and masking tape

Media appearances by captain cyborg. Oh, and a book review

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Updated We've been keeping an eye out for the "prophet of the robot age" since his unwanted appearance on Radio 4 a few weeks ago and the news that he is to host this year's Royal Institution Christmas lectures. He's got a new book out see.

Things are looking up since last time we did a proper Warwick Watch. He appears to have been blacklisted by most of the tabloids and the BBC pulled one of his nonsense quotes from a recent article about computer clothing.

He is still cropping up on Radio 4 though - which we find particularly annoying since we like Radio 4 and the Today programme is very well respected. We have an unconfirmed report that he made a Sunday paper this weekend, twatting on about his next "experiment", where, amazingly, he will become telepathic with his wife by putting another of those bloody chips somewhere under his skin.

He also got a feature in Mathematics Today - we haven't seen it yet, but a copy should be on its way.

Interestingly, we're not the only one watching out for captain cyborg. Kevinwarwick.org.uk (registered by Kevin Warwick Watch) is following the great one and has noticed him on Newsnight and The Daily Telegraph. (In fact, the site has had a go at us for not linking to them - simply an oversight fellas). We recommend a look.

We've also had a fair few academics bemoaning Kev's appearance at the Christmas lectures. If you want to complain to the Royal Institution, you can email its director here.

A kindly reader has written a review of Kev's latest book, QI, for us. It's pretty long, so we've only put the first few paras here. The whole view can be found on Harry's website here.

Update: He was on breakfast TV this morning apparently. Oh, and the Guardian ran its great understated Pass Notes column on ole Kev today. Worth having a look around for today's copy on the train home or something. It also kindly gave The Reg a mention. Which is nice. The online version is here. ®

QI - The Quest For Intelligence
by Prof. Kevin Warwick
Published by Judy Piatkus ISBN 0 7499 2081 5
Cover Price £16.99 but available for £14.40 from amazon.co.uk

Reviewed by Harry Stottle

One could argue that the ability to write a book is a good confirmation of intelligence. Not, you''ll note a test of intelligence (far too many of us would fail on that basis!) but you might say that any individual capable of writing a book, stringing together a bunch of original thoughts and revealing one or two new insights into the human condition is exhibiting intelligence.

The degree, however, to which any book demonstrates intelligence varies, of course, with the complexity of the concepts discussed and the qualities of argument within the book. And, on this scale, I'm afraid, Kevin Warwick's 'QI - The Quest For Intelligence' doesn't rate very highly. About, I would say, on a par with a 'Famous Five' novel. The Quest obviously failed.

How can I justify such a sweeping condemnation? The easiest way is to give a little bit of detail about one of his central themes - the 'Intelligence Hypersphere'.

The raison d'etre for this novel construct is the entirely valid observation that you can't use the widely used measure of intelligence, the IQ test, in any meaningful discussion or analysis of intelligence. The factors measured by such a test are too few and too parochial. The weightings given to the factors are arbitrary (should spatial abilities be considered less important than literary comprehension etc etc); and the resulting single number is too one-dimensional.

This, in turn leads to, at best, a misunderstanding of what constitutes intelligence (resulting in, for instance, poorly designed teaching methods) or, at worst, illegitimate rationalisation of prejudice (justifying slavery, for example, on the basis that the enslaved races are inferior to the slave-owners). Such evils arise, Warwick argues, from our attempt to treat intelligence as a one dimensional quantity. The prejudice against afro-americans is thus justified (in the minds of the bigot) by the observation that afro-americans score significantly below white Americans on the traditional IQ test. One of Warwick's aims is to tackle this prejudice by weaning us off the single dimensional measure.

[cut]

Related Story

Oh no! Here comes Captain Cyborg again

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.