Posts tagged with "computing"

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence

A scene from the film I RobotArtificial Intelligence, otherwise known as AI is something of an enigma. It's always going to be here in 6 months or so but it never actually arrives. The thought of a computer that thinks for itself is quite scary for many people. At the moment computers are rule based machines that simply follow a set of rules (often very complex) to reach an outcome.

AI, is the next step, where a computer is able to develop complex rules for itself and act on them. Elon Musk, a tech entrepreneur recently voiced his concerns over where artificial intelligence is going is not alone - many AI researchers share his fears, see http://www.computerworld.com/article/2840815/ai-researchers-say-elon-musks-fears-not-completely-crazy.html, and for an understanding of what AI actually is click this link http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/artificial%20intelligence

Seeing as after many years we still haven't been able to achieve many people believe that AI will never really materialise, but where does the divide between complex rule based machines and AI actually lay? Computers are certainly developing and becoming more complex in the jobs they can do, such as flying drones and bomb disposal machines, but all they are doing is following a set of rules and processing information according to what data they are processing. They are not actually thinking, and that's the difference.

Each Week 10% of Workers Lose Data

That's right - 10% of us suffer some form of data loss, deleted files, broken hard drives, copy and paste errors. The list is endless. How secure are the folders on your own disk drive, would you know? Saving data to a hard drive is easy and convenient - We can get our files and folders almost instantaneously, but how resistant is our digital information? What would happen if our disk drive broke?

One significant point to draw attention to that you should not dismiss is that the digital data is never ever fully safe from harm. You could readily drop your hard drive or have it taken, and if you haven't backed your files up then it is lost forever.

However many of us don't keep our files in this way. We store our information on disks and hard-drives, and pre hard drive information continues to be stored in albums. Some would question which method is considered the safest. Electronic files can be reprinted if something happens to the copies you make, however, in both instances the data may be damaged or ruined.

Before the invention of hard disks, records that people kept in books such as diaries and photo albums was readily lost with a spring clean, not realising what these items were, or we could accidentally pour liquid on them and lose the writing permanently. Unlike old photographs that may be reprinted as long as we still have the negatives, diaries and other paper records will not be resistant.

Bearing this in your mind you might believe digital files are far safer . They may be in some ways but not in others. A great deal depends on how you take care of them. If you have just a single copy and you also lose it or it is corrupted , you might not get it back. If you consider that lots of photos cannot be replaced, you'll understand just how valuable they may be.

Data loss is a very real matter and effects many businesses and organisations everyday. A simple approach to mitigate against data loss is by using some form of data duplication. This can be something easy and straightforward like saving the files to a memory stick or external hard drive, or perhaps something more elaborate like duplicating the files to a RAID or server array or with a storage cloud backup facility. There are many threats to your own data and these include applications dangers like viruses and malware, and hardware problems such as the hard drive crashing. Also remember the so called 'acts of god' such as fire, floods and earthquakes.

Of course you will have the choice to consult the specialists at a data recovery business to help you retrieve the files. However, for the sake of preparing a copy in the cloud, isn't it worth making a back-up you are able to rely on? Treat your important files with the care they warrant.

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