Raising HAL: introducing our new AI and data blog

Still from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Hal, the thinking computer Photograph: Ronald Grant There’s an old book on my shelf, and nearly eight years ago I wrote my first ever blog post about it. It’s called March of the Machines, and the back jacket confidently predicts that, “within 5 years robots will exist with the brain power of cats,” and, “in 10-50 years robots will exist that are more intelligent than humans.” The book was published in 1997, and nineteen years later the claims of “Britain’s leading prophet of the Robot Age,” seem oddly relevant. This was before Google or Facebook with their vast server fields and billion-dollar AI teams, before the rise of deep learning and the fall of Moore’s Law, before the Internet was anything like…

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