RTC Dinner on Artificial Intelligence (25 September 2012)

Why is My Laptop So Dumb?

In the face of mounting complexity and accelerating business activity driven by technology we find ourselves working harder and harder, and many have reached their human limit of cognition, creativity and output. They just cannot work any faster! And whilst a more powerful computers might realise a marginal gain, with faster networks complemented by smarter search engines that might add a few more percentage points to our productivity, the big ITC gains have been won. We have become the primary limiters not our technology and we need something more – much more!

For the next leap in productivity and creativity we need machine help – a third intelligence and new ways of thinking – new perspectives – and a new routes to problem solving and creativity. We also need new ways of dealing with uncertainty complexity, non-linearity and the chaos (in the mathematical sense). Even with Moore’s Law continuing at it’s present rate, or faster, true machine intelligence seems to remain more of a promise than a reality – or in other words, why is my laptop so dumb? And when will the promise of Artificial Intelligence be realised?

Dr Peter Cochrane, OBE, BSc, MSc, PhD, DSc, CGIA, FREng, FRSA, FIEE, FIEEE
As a seasoned professional with over 40 years of hands on management, technology and operational experience, Peter has been involved in establishing new companies, the creation and deployment of new technologies, products and management systems, plus the transformation of corporations. His career in BT saw a progression from linesman and technician to engineer, Head of R&D and then CTO. His 1000 strong team engaged in studies spanning optical fibre, fixed and mobile nets, complex systems, human interface design, eCommerce, eLogistics, Artificial Life and Intelligence. Peter has also been employed in the defence, logistics, travel, retail, energy, healthcare, transport, pharma, and consulting sectors. As an investor and entrepreneur he has also engaged in the founding of new companies, and global investments. He was appointed as the UK’s first Prof for the Public Understanding of Science & Technology @ Bristol in 1998. A graduate of Nottingham Trent and Essex Universities, Peter has received notable recognition with the Queen’s Award for Innovation & Export in 1990, numerous Honorary Doctorates, and was awarded an OBE in 1999 for contributions to international communications.