Recent Posts

  • eharmony and Alexa are officially an item

    Zach Emmanuel - Computer Weekly 07 Sep 2017
  • “Let me tell you about your first match. Ooh la la! She lives five miles away!” You probably wouldn’t think Alexa would say something like that but now it can, thanks to some creative intervention ...

  • Activate living within its memes

    Ryan Priest - Community Member 31 Aug 2017
  • It’s hard to imagine any attempt to create a Tory answer to Momentum going very well, but the bumbling inception of Activate has exceeded all expectations of ineptitude. The all-new “independent ...

  • It'll be alt-right on the night

    Ryan Priest - Community Member 24 Aug 2017
  • Calamitous alt-right website Breitbart has been tricked into an email exchange with a prankster posing as Donald Trump’s recently dumped adviser Steve Bannon. Under the guise of Bannon, back in the ...

  • Damore you talk, the less you say

    16 Aug 2017
  • James Damore thinks he was frogmarched out of Google for telling the truth. In reality, he wrote a 10-page memo, cobbled together from scraps of research chosen to fit his intense fear of gender ...

  • The simpler Burr necessities

    10 Aug 2017
  • It has emerged we may have spent more than the past decade creating complicated, unmemorable passwords and changing them every few months for absolutely no reason. Bill Burr, the author of the ...

  • The ballad of Bob and Alice

    02 Aug 2017
  • Previously on Downtime, we saw Mark Zuckerberg rule out AI’s potential for disaster with all the casual oblivion of a scientist in the opening part of a film of that very genre. Elon Musk, as ...

  • You don’t get to 500 million friends without steak and a few enemies

    26 Jul 2017
  • Some surprisingly vapid musings on the future of artificial intelligence (AI), live streamed by Mark Zuckerberg whilst smoking some brisket in his back garden, have been brushed aside by Elon Musk, ...

  • Robocop splashed across Downtime

    19 Jul 2017
  • An office building in Washington DC has lost its Knightscope K5 security robot after it obliviously face planted into the premises’ water fountain centrepiece. It’s the most ambitious television ...

  • Umbrella sharing start-up loses all its umbrellas

    Alex Scroxton - Networking Editor 12 Jul 2017
  • To Shenzhen, China, where tech entrepreneur Zhao Shuping has had cold water poured on his business after his sharing economy start-up Sharing E Umbrella rented 300,000 umbrellas to damp locals, and ...

  • Neural networks and guinea pigs: A credible use case for AI is finally here

    Caroline Donnelly - Senior Editor, UK 06 Jul 2017
  • Despite the conjecture spouted about the usefulness of artificial intelligence (AI), what’s been sorely lacking (as far as Downtime is concerned) is that one killer use case that really captures ...

  • Your robot overlords part 46: Software never lies

    Bryan Glick - Editor in chief 26 Jun 2017
  • As we all know, software and artificial intelligence is going to run the world and make all the decisions on our behalf, probably starting from a week next Tuesday. Downtime has long felt it is our ...

  • End of the Piers humour

    22 Jun 2017
  • It’s been over a year since US robotics designer David Hanson made Sophia an internet phenomenon with a video in which he accidentally prompts her to agree to destroy all humans. The UK got a ...

  • Beer, pee and charge phone

    Cliff Saran - Managing Editor 13 Jun 2017
  • Among those ever present first world problems is how to keep your phone charged - especially if you are out on the razz. The University of the West of England may have just the answer. It has ...

  • Appocalypse how?

    06 Jun 2017
  • Apple opened this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference with a video speculating what the world might look like if all the apps used on their devices suddenly disappeared. As all the big guns, ...

  • A little less covfefe

    01 Jun 2017
  • Donald Trump has written a new page into the book of Twitter folklore with his now deleted classic, “Despite the constant negative press covfefe”. The garbled message, surely reaching for the word ...