What is Informatics? Why some call it “Computer Science”?
Why programmers can’t get it right as civil engineers do with bridges?

Given the pervasive presence of computers around us, people usually think about Informatics as a pretty advanced field of technology, something that push the edges of human knowledge. They think of programming as a specialized skill, something you need to learn if you want to follow a certain kind of career.

It’s all wrong.

This is a cross post for my followers here: this is the canonical URI

A bit of History

In 1957, Karl Steinbuch coined the term «Informatik» for his essay…

This is a translated (and polished) transcript of my talk (slides here) at the XV Congress of the Association Luca Coscioni about Research Freedom.
This is a cross post for my followers here:
this is the canonical URI

Good evening, my name Giacomo, I’m a programmer and I will try to share here a more practical perspective on these matters. I will talk about the symbiosis between humans and machines, trying to envision a path that can move us forward into this direction.

A new specie

Let’s start with a definition of Artificial Intellingence from the University of Stanford

Artificial intelligence (AI) is…

As Bruce Perens recently put it, I’m “just a programmer”.
A humble programmer. And a self-taught one.

A programmer that has learned how to program from a weird group of people whose core value is curiosity: the hackers.

So when I see a security hole affecting in various way billions of people, I behave like a programmer. I try to fix it… or get it fixed. As soon as possible.

So a mounth ago, I wrote an article explaining how the Web is still a DARPA weapon (that sometimes backfire, as the Russiagate shows).

There I describe two dangerous flawns

Everybody knows that the Internet was originally a US military project.

Stephen J. Lukasik, who was Deputy Director and Director of DARPA at the time, explained in Why the Arpanet Was Built:

The goal was to exploit new computer technologies to meet the needs of military command and control against nuclear threats, achieve survivable control of US nuclear forces, and improve military tactical and management decision making.

If you know the history of that period, with the ongoing Cold War, you know that the Internet has been a great geopolitical success, beyond any hope.

The International Network became more than…

I have just been suggested this article from InfoWorld.

I was welcome by a claim that they care about my privacy.

This is, evidently, a gift of GDPR, that give Europeans control on their data.

GDPR exists because who control enough data about you can manipulate you.

So I was very happy to see this: InfoWorld respects the law and its users. Yay!

Thus I clicked “Update Privace Settings”, because you know…
I’m a programmer… I click things…

After my recent article about the legal implications of artificial neural networks, I’ve got the privilege to share and compare my point of view with a few experts in the field, during my talk at the seminar organized by the “Università degli Studi Milano Bicocca”, in collaboration with “The Innovation Group”.

Of this unexpected and great privilege I’ve to thank in particular Carlo Batini and Roberto Masiero, that let me know and talk to many smart Professors.

Most of my talk was an application of common sense: behind the hype, the marketing and the cultural (and economical) pressure of lobbies…

Let starts with facts so that you can build your own opinion.

On July 25, 2015 I joined the Harvey team, looking for a simple OS.

I contributed to Harvey OS for about six months, the best way I could.
You can see my 175 contributions listed here.
And all my mails to the project are here.

If you read the various threads you will see that, when I care about something, I’m pretty used to fighting for it. Politely, but strongly.

When we do not agree, I cannot accept compromises: I want syntheses. …

Four friends sit in a Pub, kindly talking about Politics.
A mathematician, a chemist, a philosopher and a hacker.

Enters a group of girls.

The four friends shut up.

The philosopher start talking about Beauty, and how Love and Aesthetics can inspire, how they elevate men above the pains of their lives.

The chemist laughs loudly!
He explains that love is just a matter of pheromones and endorphins.
Just an effective pattern that fit well with the preservation of species.

The mathematician, smiles.

“Guys,” he says, “you have no hope.”

“If we want a chance, we shouldn’t fight to impress…

Let’s start with a little experiment that will give you a deeper understanding of what a neural network is. Even if you are an expert in AI, please try.

Write down on a piece of paper what you see here (up to two words):

We will be back to this experiment later, but it is very important that you keep that physical piece of paper near you.

A bit of context

This post was born after an interesting discussion on Nexa’s mailing list.

The Nexa Center for Internet for Internet & Society is an independent research center, focusing on interdisciplinary analysis of the force…

Giacomo Tesio

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store