IAE Blog

Information Age Education (IAE) is an Oregon not-for-profit corporation founded by David Moursund in August 2007. The IAE Blog was started in August 2010.

Rapid Changes in GMO Technology

The MIT Technology Review is on my regular “must read” list of magazines that I subscribe to. Every issue contains articles that challenge my current knowledge and insights into how the world is changing.

The first issue of 2018 is certainly no exception. Antonio Regalado’s article about gene editing, These Are Not Your Father’s GMOs, caught my attention (Regalado, January/February, 2018). In brief summary, gene editing that merely changes a gene without inserting “foreign matter” is legal in the United States. For example, it is legal to insert an extra copy of a small piece (a snippet) of a plant’s DNA strand into the DNA strand, or to remove a snippet. This can be done with current technology, and it is being done.

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Underwater Robotic Miners

Open Pit Lake.png

Almost every day I find one or more science and technology articles that really catch my attention. David Hambling’s article about developing robots to do underwater mining certainly provides a good example (Hambling, 10/23/2017).

The problem that many mining operations face is that of water getting into a mine. The history of steam engines is intimately connected with this problem. Steam engines were first developed to pump water out of mines. Quoting from Encyclopedia.com (n.d.):

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Free Weekly Newsletter from MIT

The purpose of this IAE Blog entry is to introduce you to The Download, a free newsletter from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that I enjoy reading (MIT, n.d.). One of the interesting aspects of this free newsletter is that you can specify the areas you like to keep up with, and the weekly newsletter you receive will then focus on the topics you specify. The list of topic areas is:

  1. Business Impact
  2. Connectivity
  3. Sustainable Energy
  4. Rewriting Life
  5. Intelligent Machines

Samples from a Recent Issue

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Cognitive Computing

IBM is one of a large number of companies that are deeply engaged in developing uses of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help solve problems and accomplish tasks (Moursund, 2017a). In 1997, an IBM computer system named Deep Blue defeated the reigning world chess champion in a six-game match. In 2011, an IBM computer system named Watson handily defeated former Jeopardy! winners Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings.

A recent interview of Ginni Rometty, Chief Executive Officer of IBM, discussed what that company is currently doing (Murphy, 9/25/2017). The interview began with Rometty explaining why IBM now uses the terminology Cognitive Computing rather than AI. Quoting Rometty:

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Reading and Writing in Today’s World

Written language was invented more than 5,000 years ago. Reading and writing certainly changed the world. Taken together, they facilitate the accumulation and distribution of information. Paraphrasing Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and many other researchers, “I have been able to do the work I have done because I have stood on the shoulders of the researchers who have come before me.”

The process of writing does more than just record information stored in the writer’s head. It facilitates the writer in organizing and recording the information so that it both represents the information more clearly, and that it communicates effectively with potential readers. Most good writers find it is very necessary to revise, revise, and still do more revision as they try to clearly communicate their ideas.

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