What I learned making a video game

In 1981, the arcade game Centipede was released by Atari, a world leader of the video game market in the late 20th century. Following the same formula as several other famous arcade games of the time, such as Pac-Man and Galaxian, the game involves a moving, player-controlled object (also known as the Bug Blaster) that tries to eliminate the enemy (Centipede) that appears on the screen.

How rudeness leads to Anchoring in life and death situations

We’ve seen it all too often. A rush of blood to the head, a moment of insanity, an “emotional” decision taken through the spoken word, or an action that can never be taken back.

Tick tock….around the clock

From complicated pocket watches to iconic clocks to decorative wrist watches… there’s a fascinating world behind the multi-billion-dollar timepiece industry.

Why do we forget?

Contrary to the popular belief that memories simply fade with time and forgetting is an early sign of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, a new theory suggests that forgetting is actually a form of learning

Artificial intelligence vs the world.

‘Deep Blue versus Garry Kasparov’ was a clashing of six game chess matches between World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov and IBM supercomputer Deep Blue

Yes, they really are listening to us

Amidst all the revolutions that are sweeping the world, from economic to political, the omnipresent Fourth Industrial Revolution keeps powering ahead with no sign of reaching a peak or slowing down. One aspect of it which receives surprisingly little media coverage and rarely enters discussion is the radical development of voice profiling.

How Gaming Conquered the World

For many, the 70s marked the beginnings of the true modern phenomenon that is broadcast television. In 1976 South Africans gathered around these boxy units with fiddly buttons and bunny ear aerials waiting to be amazed, and they would not be disappointed.

The Mysteries of Pain

Thought experiment: Take your left foot (bare) and secure it in place with some sturdy leather straps on a wooden board. Take a rusty drill bit; attach it to an electric drill.

Medicine, Pigeons and Pattern Recognition

Pattern recognition is the automated recognition of regularities in data. In recent years, and particularly with the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning, it has become significant to many industries.

The Numbers Game

Has the data analytics revolution made football better in the last decade? Your answer may depend on whether your own favoured team has become better – or worse.

Maths anxiety in midlife

We know that maths is important. It helps us to learn critical thinking and develops the muscles of problem solving. Great minds describe it as a universal language and there are even those who see beauty and poetry in its order.

The future of flight technology

The delicately beautiful butterfly finds itself at the centre of new research which reveals a secret hiding in plain sight that could influence the future of flying technology.

The future is animated

Our desire to see into the future is as old as it is obvious: with prescience comes the ability to avoid major catastrophes, as well as capitalise on boons.

The 4thIndustrial Revolution Series: The internet of things

“Imagine a world”, I would say, “where your bathroom scale speaks to your fridge. Your fridge then speaks to your supermarket, and they all decide to put you on diet.

When Good Ideas Go Bad

Tesla. Edison. Bell. Turing. We know these names because these names changed the world. We place great value on innovation, technology and progress

Liespotting series: Even more lies Part 3

In the modern era, there has been the propensity to demonise lying and to judge those caught in the act of deceit. From business leaders like Madoff to truly global leaders like Clinton

Behavioural Economics in action - Climate change

A qualified high school student is accepted to university but gets confused while applying for financial aid and fails to enrol. An individual with HIV is prescribed free antiretroviral medications but fails to take them consistently.

Have you ever felt like a fraud?

While much has been written about the mindset of very successful people, from their strategies and beliefs to their general outlook, surprisingly little has been said about a very real drawback many will face during their careers.

A likely successor to the information age

These days, catchphrases and conceptual hype turn any passing fads into megatrends – or attempt to. Real ‘Ages’ however, are rare.

How we know what we know

Why do so many people believe things that aren’t true, even when unprecedented access to information and evidence should change their minds?

Learning in traffic

The microlearning revolution

Two years ago I loaded Duolingo on to my phone to learn a few sentences of conversational Spanish before a holiday.

Bowling alleys and social capital

You might ask what bowling alleys have to do with social cohesion? Or even what relationship exists between individual health predictors and membership in a book club?

Can IQ determine your quality of life

In a previous article the ubiquitous presence of online IQ testing was both noted and questioned. The obvious conclusions were that the validity of any findings are likely to be less than entirely accurate

The 4th Industrial Revolution Series: The Robots are NOT coming

When the short stocky man in the front row started to shout at me, I was horrified. He waved his hands as he growled in a deep voice. He blamed me for “this Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

Wasteful saving and the curious case for negative interest rates

Oscar Wilde’s whimsical 1800’s quote “money was made to be spent, therefore, to save it is a waste of money” recently became true. This is the result of the growing global phenomenon of negative interest rates.

High achievers

History of biohacking and performance enhancement

From the ancient Greek Olympians to modern technopreneurs, human beings have always looked to outperform each other.

Liespotting series:
A beginner’s guide to becoming a human lie detecting machine

In a previous article we discussed the emergence of the study of lies. We discussed the heavy lifting scientific work done by Ekman and Matsumoto and the amazing contributions that they have made to our understanding of this science.

The weird world of quantum computers

The magician gazed out at his audience. “It’s a cold night,” he said. “Does anyone have a pair of gloves I can borrow?”

Reward hacking: Moving beyond goal-driven behavior

At the risk of significantly over-simplifying the field, software development is achieved by articulating a certain goal or objective and mapping out a logical, algorithmically-based method of getting there.

No laughing matter

2019’s Joker was about a failed comedian, Arthur Fleck. Fleck tells people he has a laughing disorder. Although it was not actually mentioned what the disorder was, it was most likely based on what is known as pseudobulbar affect (PBA).

Can mindfulness treat depression?

Psychiatrists are pragmatic people. There’s compassion and empathy, yes, but there’s also extreme firmness – especially when it comes to biopsychosocial treatment protocols for patients with depression.

A cut and paste tool for human DNA

Genetic engineering is one of those fields of science that make people feel queasy.

Liespotting Series: Decoding the language of lies

Paul Ekman was named one Time Magazine’s Top 100 most influential people in May 2009.

Physics for the philosophical investor

A good share of modern physics is based on the laws of thermodynamics, which help us to understand how matter and energy relate to one another in closed systems, such as the universe.

Will machines ever become conscious?

The nature of consciousness is something that has been debated for centuries by philosophers, neuroscientists, ethicists, biologists and the like, with very little progress having been made.

Just because I’m good at it, does not mean I like it.

Psychometric testing is the best known and most highly regarded method for measuring individuals’ mental capabilities and behavioral styles. Most commonly, psychometrics are used for career guidance and the evaluation of job suitability for a particular role based on personality characteristics and cognitive abilities.

The art of reading body language

“You talking to me? You talking to me?

Remember the young Robert de Niro’s famous line in Taxi Driver? Oh, the on-screen menace he conveyed physically,

AI Series: The impact of artificial intelligence on our work identity

The rise of advanced artificial intelligence is real and lurks on the horizon, requiring a significant shift in the way we view ourselves and our place in society.

AI Series: Can machines make ethical choices?

Once we start to see our ethics reflected back to us in the form of machine decision-making, are we going to like what we see?

The history of IQ

An 11-year-old Harvard undergrad inspired the ubiquitous saying “early ripe, early ruin”.