Skip to Main Content

Turing with Siri

Over sixty years ago, the computer scientist Alan Turing set the bar for artificial intelligence to the level of any interface where human interlocutors are unable to distinguish whether they are talking to a computer or to another person. “Are there imaginable digital computers which would do well in the imitation game?" he asked. Perhaps in response, an iPhone owner recently mentioned to Siri that he wants to get an Android phone. She replied:

"I found 3 suicide prevention centers. Tap the one you want to call..."

technology trends in higher education


Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Tom Petty, Ravi Shankar and other luminaries populate Martin Scorcese’s 2011 biopic titled “George Harrison: Living in the Material World.”

Watch this video at YouTube.


Image created by Meredith Roberts.The war on everything, at your doorstep soon.

Cover of Going the Distance: Online Education in the United States 2011 According to the Sloan Consortium’s recent report titled "Going the Distance: Online Education in the United States, 2011:"

  • Online enrollments are growing at ten times the rate of the overall higher education student population.
  • Thirty-one percent of all higher education students now take at least one course online.
  • Over 6.1 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2010 term; an increase of 560,000 students over the number reported the previous year.


“What, sir, would you make a ship sail against the wind and currents by lighting a bonfire under her deck? I pray you excuse me. I have not time to listen to such nonsense!”

—Napoleon Bonaparte to Robert Fulton, inventor of the steamship

Watch this video at YouTube.

Written by Aaron Sorkin ("The Social Network," "Charlie Wilson’s War," "The West Wing") and Steve Zaillian ("American Gangster," "Gangs of New York," "Schindler’s List"), the new film "Moneyball" opens with a simple white line against a panorama of the purest black. It reads:

robme1.jpg“The rate at which technology develops allows us to do more amazing stuff every day. It’s important to reconsider basic things like privacy at the same pace.”

Will a “man on the moon” strategy of investment in educational technology lead to an era of unprecedented economic prosperity for the United States? The Obama administration thinks so, and is putting its money where its mouth is in its 2012 fiscal year budget with a proposed $90 million education research initiative modeled on DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency that was instrumental in the invention of the Internet. On February 4, 2011, the administration proposed the creation of a new agency called the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Education, or ARPA-ED.