Can the regulation of hazardous substances help us think about regulation of AI?

This post is a thought experiment. It considers how existing laws that cover the registration and testing of hazardous substances like pesticides might be used as an analogy for thinking through approaches to regulation of AI/ML. As a thought experiment its not a detailed or well-research proposal, but there are elements which I think are … Continue reading Can the regulation of hazardous substances help us think about regulation of AI?

A river of research, not news

I already hate the phrase "fake news".¬†We have better words to describe lies, disinformation, propaganda and slander, so lets just use those. While the phrase "fake news" might originally have been used to refer to hoaxes and disinformation, it's rapidly becoming a meaningless term used to refer to anything you don't disagree with. Trump's recent … Continue reading A river of research, not news

Digital public institutions for the information commons?

I've been thinking a bit about "the commons" recently. Specifically, the global information commons that is enabled and supported by Creative Commons (CC) licences. This covers an increasingly wide variety of content as you can see in their recent annual review. The review unfortunately doesn't mention data although there's an increasing amount of that published¬†using … Continue reading Digital public institutions for the information commons?

Thoughts on Coursera and Online Courses

I recently completed my first online course (or "MOOC") on Coursera. It was an interesting experience and wanted to share some thoughts here. I decided to take an online course for several reasons. Firstly the topic, Astrobiology, was fun and I thought the short course might make an interesting alternative to watching BBC documentaries and … Continue reading Thoughts on Coursera and Online Courses

WebCite

Alf Eaton posts today to point to the new WebCite service. This is going to be very useful. Don't think so? Well there's plenty of research to show that link atrophy is a big problem in scientific literature: Persistence of Web References in Scientific Research See also: A study of missing Web-cites in scholarly articles: … Continue reading WebCite

iSpecies and taxonomy (no, not that kind)

For the last few years I've been lurking on a mailing list run by the Taxonomic Databases Working Group. It's a low volume list used by scientists interested in capturing and marking up taxonomies. That's taxonomy in the Linnaean sense not the semantic web sense. I've been lurking there since I wrote this paper a … Continue reading iSpecies and taxonomy (no, not that kind)