Boardman returned to an analogy he has made before, and which even he admits is a bit melodramatic, though it gets the point across
“It’s a bit like saying ‘people are sniping at you going down this street, so put some body armour on,'” he said.
Government encouragement to wear helmets was therefore “a big campaign to get people to wear body armour, by the people who should be stopping the shooting.”
Caught in a fire fight, a soldier might hope for air support rained down from a Predator Drone, a kitted out AR-15 assault rifle, and soon, a tube full of high-tech cotton balls. The last item on the list might seem out of place, but the XStat syringe, filled with scientifically advanced sponges, can plug a life-threatening bullet wound in a matter of seconds.
Given how keen the loudest bunch of Eurosceptics are to ignore scientific findings, is this really a great surprise?
It is widely known in British science and industry that the EU’s now-impressive engine is providing a boon for UK research and innovation. The bureaucracy is being stripped away and being replaced with a “can do” attitude. Yet our current government is hardly communicating this to the British people. They have not even told our small businesses that billions of euros in competitive funds are now available from the EU for them to collaborate with universities and develop marketable products. The Conservatives have recently been accused of burying, behind flood news, government documents showing a strong positive impact of the EU on British science and business, whilst last month a Conservative think-tank bizarrely accused the EU of being “anti-science”. Add this to anti-immigration noises that scientists have long warned is damaging, and the result is that Eurosceptics are compromising critical UK innovation opportunities.
It’s hard not to read articles like this without seeing lots of Wall-E like robots roaming around the red planet.
So how do we make robot brains more like ours? One way might be to change the type of processor they use. Until now, robots have always been fitted with central processing units (CPUs), just like most PCs. Such units are very good at crunching small streams of data fast, but they can only do one thing at a time.
In contrast, graphics processing units (GPUs), which are heavily used in supercomputers and gaming, can handle larger data sets more quickly, and deal with several of them at once. This is how the human brain works, and even though we process some tasks millions of times more slowly than does a computer, the amount of information our brains can handle is vast. But until quite recently, GPUs have been too big and expensive to use in robots.