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Blogs by Yorick Wilks

Yorick Wilks is Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Sheffield, and is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute. He studied maths and philosophy at Cambridge, where he got his PhD in 1968. He has published numerous articles and six books in artificial intelligence concerned with language processing.

  • Remove the state from marriage and end this pointless debate

    Remove the state from marriage and end this pointless debate

    | Social Policy
    Marriage was a private enterprise for hundreds of years and should be that way again argues Professor Yorick Wilks.For all the successes of privatisation, I would like to propose another area of citizens' lives from which to remove Government: marriage. The State has not been in the marriage business very ...
  • The Burqa is not as foreign to our traditions as we may imagine.

    The Burqa is not as foreign to our traditions as we may imagine.

    | Foreign Policy
    Yorick Wilks is a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Insitute and professor of Artificial Intelligence (Emeritus) at the University of Sheffield.Melbourne’s old gaol is a melancholy place: a chilling reminder of early colonial times is a set of rough canvas hoods with eye holes that prisoners had to wear ...
  • Privacy and identity in 2012

    Privacy and identity in 2012

    | 2012 Policy Resolutions
    In the ninth of the CPS' 'UK Policy Resolutions for 2012' series, Yorick Wilks, a CPS Research Fellow, calls on the government to scrap the Data Protection Act. This morning, in the eighth in the series , Andrea Leadsom MP outlined measures to increase competition in banking.UK Policy Resolutions for ...
  • If we lost trust in money, is internet currency a plausible alternative

    If we lost trust in money, is internet currency a plausible alternative

    | General
    As the euro staggers, it may seem bad taste to examine the possibilities for yet another created or artificial currency. But the Bitcoin is worth a quick look because it makes us think again about the nature of currency and what value consists of. We all know ...
  • I have seen the future of airports, and it is Berlin, not London

    I have seen the future of airports, and it is Berlin, not London

    | General
    Boris Johnson renews his campaign today for a new London airport, citing the lack of slot capacity and the loss of business to Britain that this is causing. I think we should also ask what kind of airport we want, if any: London’s airports are notorious worldwide ...
  • The revival of Karl Marx and our current crisis

    The revival of Karl Marx and our current crisis

    | General
    Many will have smirked as I did at the news that a tourist in Ilfracombe had officially complained about the sight and smell of fish in the harbour. Some perhaps remembered the case of the school headmistress forced to resign last year after having her school’s pet sheep slaughtered so ...
  • Poor Libya: Seeing Ghaddafi through the prism of Saddam

    Poor Libya: Seeing Ghaddafi through the prism of Saddam

    | Foreign Policy
    Yorick Wilks,Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Insitute and professor of Artificial Intelligence (Emeritus) at the University of Sheffield, watched the Libyan situation unfold while in the US. It is interesting to watch the Libyan crisis develop on US TV news: it is all about “the hunt ...
  • Dialogues of the deaf

    Dialogues of the deaf

    | Media & Technology
    Frank Ramsey, the economist and philosopher, died at 26 though his fame may outlive that of his brother, who became Archbishop of Canterbury and lived to a great age. In an after-dinner speech he once tried to show in a few minutes that conversation is impossible ...
  • Does the Big Society need a rethink? - Charities

    Does the Big Society need a rethink? - Charities

    | Social Policy
    Yorick Wilks, Professor of Artificial Intelligence (Emeritus) at the University of Sheffield, writes about the dependence of charity and public projects on the state. “CUTS FORCE CHARITIES TO SLASH SERVICES” screamed the Guardian recently (21.7.11). A moment’s reflection might make one answer “Hang on, what have any Government ...
  • The Economist's Most Liveable Cities: Bias or prank?

    The Economist's Most Liveable Cities: Bias or prank?

    | General
    Yorick Wilks, Professor of Artificial Intelligence (Emeritus) at the University of Sheffield, examines The Economist's top 10 of the 'World's Most Liveable Cities' list.According to the Economist’s Intelligence Unit, eight of the world’s ten “most liveable cities” are in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, but none are in ...
  • Digital Footprints: Two parliamentary acts in the UK pulling opposite ways

    Digital Footprints: Two parliamentary acts in the UK pulling opposite ways

    | Media & Technology
    Yorick Wilks, Professor of Artificial Intelligence (Emeritus) at the University of Sheffield, writes on the ambivalent nature of UK legislation towards data privacy. A great deal of reform and clarification are needed on the conflicts between Data Protection legislation and the Freedom of Information Act: we need to ...