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Around Our Connected World

I have been traveling a lot this year and would like to share some observations.

I was in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing for two days each in May. China is serious about its push to extend knowledge of machine learning and artificial intelligence and to make faster computers. This article in the MIT Technology Review gives some good background on the country’s plans and priorities.

I recently encountered a beta test software package for Android phones that recognizes and transcribes human speech into visible form – English was the first language. I tested this Scribe application in a noisy cafe in the Victoria and Albert museum and it worked remarkably well. While this is not yet available to the public, I watched a deaf attendee at a recent conference use this in lieu of alternative assistive methods. The beauty of this application is that it works for one-on-one or small group interactions as well as for things like plenary keynotes. While in China, I also used a handheld device (smart phone) that translated between English and Chinese and did so with sufficient fidelity that I was able to converse in English with a Chinese audience and they could ask questions back in Chinese. See also…

There are reports of extended lifetimes for entangled particles that could lead to the ability to move partial quantum computational results from one quantum computer to another – a quantum Internet. See also…

Progress continues on hollow optical fiber at the Southampton Optoelectronics Research Center led by Marconi Society Chairman Emeritus Sir David Payne. Read more…

During the course of my travels this past month, I have experienced situations in which mobile LTE is faster and more reliable for Internet access than local WiFi. Perhaps this is a sign of the future.