The word artificial, like many other words, is a mixed bag, best conceived of as a semantic continuum encompassing positive, neutral and negative connotations.

For two decades, there has been growing discourse about the name of the rock strata that will be associated with homo sapiens in future geological records.

In the second half of 2016, if you found yourself in the right European conference centre at the right time you might have caught a glimpse of that rarest of phenomena: a president, provost or vice-chancellor of an elite academic institution in a moment of self-doubt, contrition even.

In the initial years of catching the addiction, it took Nahin around ten minutes to yank the life out of an otter. Slimy. Glossy. Squeaky. Puppy-faced. Puppy-eyed. Chirping. Purring.

Most of us are fortunate enough not to have experienced an exile. Somehow, Maazan Maarouf has snagged two.

In approaching the possibilities of artificial intelligence, we must first ask: how is it born, and how does it grow up? Then, what purpose(s) might it serve?