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  • Interviews and Storytelling: Simon Hayles

     

    [TRACK 1]

     

    TONY WRIGHT:

    It’s the 4th of August 2011 and this is Tony Wright and Jake Holden interviewing Simon Hayles.

     

    JAKE HOLDEN:

    Hi Simon.

     

    SIMON HAYLES:

    Hi.

     

    JH:

    Well I’m gonna…..wanna start from the beginning of your story so, well I wanna ask you how long have you lived in Hebden Bridge for…..first of all?

     

    SH:

    I moved here in 1995, so that would be sixteen…..going on seventeen years.

     

    JH:

    Right.  And what…..what brought you to Hebden Bridge in the first place?

     

    SH:

    I had a job in Oldham….which isn’t the nicest place in the world to live, and Hebden seemed a much more pleasant alternative within commuting range.

     

    JH:

    Right, right.  And…..what were your…..what were your first impressions when you got here?

     

    SH:

    Oh it was a very nice place indeed, yeah…..a little bit middle class….it was very alternative; the Trades Club was…..a great place to be in them days, as was the….Hole in the Wall and The Shoulder……yes, happy days.

     

    JH:

    Yeah right……did you feel like there was a…..like a big sense of community when you first arrived?

     

    SH:

    Oh very much so, yeah.

     

    JH:

    And how do you…..how do you feel that’s changed in the sixteen years you’ve been here?

     

    SH:

    Well the rise in house prices has……effectively forced out a lot of the less…..financial orientated people who used to live here, and replaced them with  people who are more concerned with their bank balances than with the community they live in, as far as I can see.

     

    JH:

    What was your first job, what was that job that you actually went for….in Oldham?

     

    SH:

    It was writing special needs software for people with…..particular physical learning difficulties…..to encourage literacy, numeracy and social interaction through the use of computers and associated hardware and software.

     

    JH:

    And so how did that lead on to kind of becoming an AI specialist?

     

    SH:

    Well the two are related…..by trying to…..in special needs it’s important to catch the attention of the person who you’re attempting to get to use your software, so there’s quite a strong element of animation, sound…….trying to encourage feedback within the programme which is not so dissimilar to games of course.  Now as the financial….funding for special needs had decreased over time and a lot of the needs have been met and the software’s been written which does the jobs that need doing as it were, so the market’s gradually turned away and the company I used to work for, they’re still going, they’ve just laid off half their staff for example so it’s tough times for them, yeah…….so gaming it seemed a more entertaining route to go down

     

    JH:

    Yeah.

     

    SH:

    Well, mobile gaming it was particularly at the time.

     

    JH:

    Right right.  And with like yeah, with the abundance of kind of these social networks, digital social networks growing through things like Facebook and like interactive games as a means of like meeting people, where…..do you think these are kind of, gonna go in the future?

     

    SH:

    Heaven knows really…..there’s a number of possibilities….but it seems to me the most popular games aren’t really that interactive in socialising terms.  I don’t think people meet each other much in computer games; they tend to play with their friends within small social groups, so I don’t really see games as such becoming a…..a socialising avenue, I mean things like Second….Second Life is it?

     

    JH:

    Yeah yeah

     

    SH:

    A 3D environment where people are encouraged to socialise but I don’t think it really works.

     

    JH:

    No.  But I suppose there is kind of the technologies of like GPS for example which is in a lot of kind of hand held devices now, there might be some potential for that and kind of gaming and social networks to evolve around a location, like a city for example

     

    SH:

    Oh yeah there are various games that are doing that at the minute….Hide and Seek and Treasure Hunt, various games are based around that and I can see that they’re entertaining in a way, but more of a sort of side note I think in the gaming world than a…..forerunner of things to come.

     

    JH:

    Right…….so…..do you think……well I was gonna ask like if AI, if that had been influential in games could actually have an impact on kind of…..on these social networks then that might change our environment because if it was developed around kind of people using these in like a social context then

     

    SH

    Well alarmingly they are being used…..there was a recent newspaper article about CIA was it, using artificial intelligence posters on blogs and social media networks that tended to influence them towards certain points of view….social manipulation as it were through the use of artificial……people who were believed by the other people on the network to be real but were actually robots…..artificially intelligent pieces of software, so there’s a lot of quite insidious stuff that can potentially happen and there’s no guarantee when you talk to somebody on a…..a social network that they are actually a person

     

    JH:

    Yeah that’s true. Like Facebook, when they  did that thing about finding people’s faces and tagging them in the photographs, but…..but that holds approval in that kind of

     

    SH:

    Yeah that’s happening as well.

     

    JH:

    Is there anyway you can actually keep tabs on like….on this kind of thing, like how….how can you…..you know what’s kind of bad in terms of AI and what’s kind of dangerous?

     

    JH:

    Well it’s just a tool like anything else…..it’s like fire; you can burn houses down with it or you can cook your dinner; it has no morality in itself, it depends on the motivation of the people that are using it, so that’s almost an impossible question to answer really.

     

    JH:

    What…..are you working on anything at the moment, currently?

     

    SH:

    I am at the minute, yes.  I’m writing a…….multi player…….battle game similar to…….I don’t know if you’ve come across Age of Empires and there’s various others – Total Medieval, Totally War is another example of it; on a much smaller scale and running in a browser……it’s ticking over; it’s a big project so it takes a while.

     

    JH:

    Who’s working on it?

     

    SH:

    Just me.

     

    JH:

    Really?

     

    SH:

    Oh aye, yeah, there’s no great rush.

     

    JH:

    Right right.  And how……how are you gonna kind of distribute it, like when it’s made?

     

    SH:

    Well it’s free to play on the web, but what I’m hoping to do is get this……well I’m willing to go down the route of adverts, that’s a possibility, or have a subscription/donation system where people, if people like the game and want it to be continued then they’ll contribute towards it.

     

    JH:

    There’s that new kind of…..business plan for some games which are free to play and they offer…..various items which you can’t actually get with the game but you can purchase with real money, as a means of income

     

    SH:

    That’s a possibility, yes, I mean, but that depends obviously on the game obtaining enough popularity to….to merit that sort of thing, but certainly a possibility and a good working model because it enables people to play the game, to get a taste for it without…..having to commit to paying for it in the first place.

     

    JH:

    Yeah, cos a lot of companies complain about piracy and how that affects their like……gaming industry for example and many others, but some small companies feel that it’s kind of…..well it is there and there’s not a lot they can do about it, but it’s also a kind of advertising tool, like as many people pirate the game they’ll tell all their friends about it and

     

    SH:

    Oh yes absolutely

     

    JH:

    And if it’s a game worth playing and…..then eventually worth buying, it’s actually quality, then they may want to make sales through piracy.

     

    SH:

    That’s true but the whole concept of sales is really changing.  What people buy now isn’t a CD or a cassette or whatever, they buy a password…..so the whole concept of piracy in games sort of goes out the window because you can’t pirate a password; only one person can use it at any one time so it’s…..piracy only exists in the world of….where a game is a fixed set of data, single player games; where games are interactive and you have to log in to use them, piracy’s just not an issue – they can’t pirate it.

     

    JH:

    What do you think will happen to distribution as well, talking earlier, like…..there’s a lot of talk about going to digital distribution as opposed to actually having

     

    SH:

    I think it will go further than that.  I think in the near future you won’t buy anything at all, and in time on a game, and you won’t even get the game, but what you will get will be the images, like a…..interactive television set.  Your computer, if it is a computer, sends your key presses down the line, the game runs on a server and this sends back a picture of the character you’ve been looking at, so you don’t actually own anything, well you do, but it’s just key presses one way, images the other, and….it’s already happening; there’s various services that provide this service.

     

    JH:

    Really?  How long do you think it’ll be until that’s just the mainstream?

     

    SH:

    Five years maybe…..soon.  Well it obviously makes a lot of sense to have a cheap PC, just a netbook or something with a fast internet connection; you don’t need loads of memory, you don’t need a processor, all you need is to put pictures on the screen as fast as the server’s sending them and that’s it, but much much cheaper.

     

    JH:

    Right.  So how do you think…..how can AI change our impact, our daily lives, like could it become more of a….fit into our daily routines in any kind of way?

     

    SH:

    Well very much so, yes.  There aren’t many devices now, electronic devices, that haven’t got some aspect of artificial intelligence about them, I mean…..internally but on a simple basis, in that camera for example, it’s probably got software which will detect retina reflections, red eye, and reduce it, and that’s an artificial intelligence application with patterns and making decisions based on those patterns, so it’s basically ubiquitous; I don’t think there’s any…..there’s very very little….very few places where it won’t impact, or hasn’t already impacted, I mean in the worst case you see a manned drone plowing into people’s houses in Afghanistan controlled by artificial intelligence, so you know, that’s a pretty big impact.

     

    JH: 

    Let’s hope they don’t get many over here.

     

    SH:

    Let’s hope not, yeah [laughing]

     

    JH:

    If it comes through the wall

     

    JH:

    So……..what’s……how…..how do you go…..how do you go about creating AI?  Is it a difficult kind of procedure what goes into it?

     

    SH:

    No it’s application based isn’t it?  I mean….on a very simple level……it’s very easy to do, I mean writing a piece of software that plays noughts and crosses for example is not that complicated an operation; you can do it in half a day, if that, but writing a piece of software that….I don’t know, controls the……aircraft coming in and out of a country or an airport, that’s a bit more sophisticated and obviously has to be a bit more mission critical than playing noughts and crosses, so it’s a scalable project, and again like fire, there’s a difference between striking a match and running an oil fired power station; they both fire but the scale of the application is rather different.

     

    JH:

    Yeah.  What’s the…what’s the hardest thing that you’ve developed….the most difficult?

     

    SH:

    One very complicated one was handwriting recognition.  That is quite a hard thing to do because people’s handwriting varies a lot……and there’s lots of other things to take into account; how do you interpret the date once you’ve got it?  That’s pretty tricky, but again there’s libraries and software that can do that sort of thing now so it’s…..

     

    JH:

    I’m just looking at mine now and I can barely read it sometimes, so if a computer can decipher it then, yeah

     

    SH:

    Not easy.

     

    JH:

    …….so yeah, where do you work from?

     

    SH:

    I work from home whenever possible, yes.

     

    JH:

    Right.  How….what’s your source of income?

     

    SH:

    In…..well I’ve got a good tenant in my house at the minute, because I’m working on this particular project that I’d like to get finished, so obviously that’s not gonna generate any income until it is finished, a bit like writing a novel really; you don’t get any money until it’s finished and people start buying it, if you’re lucky, but I get occasional calls for help from various people to come and assist them with whatever, so there’s sort of little bits of income there.

     

    JH:

    And what does that mean?  Do you have to go out and go to a different kind of workplace or can you usually work from home, even in those situations?

     

    SH:

    Almost entirely yes, it involves going and…..assessing what needs doing and then I can ninety per cent of the time I remedy it from home, yeah, if it’s a software problem, and most of the web…..an awful lot of stuff now is cloud based, and so where you are doesn’t become so much of an issue, I mean it’s only….it’s only if you’re in formal employment that the managers generally want you in the office, not because it makes any difference to your job, but because they can look around the office and feel smug about themselves.

     

    JH:

    Do you think there’s a kind of any danger of….with so many games, like you said, a lot of game players are playing like singular and are kind of isolated from….from their kind of communities, from their friends, even though they’re connected on line it’s kind of restricted, they’re only seeing them through like a reflection of themselves with their character.  Do you think that can affect our……how we’re engaging with people?

     

    SH:

    ……I think there’s two ways of looking at it.  On the one hand it’s…..I do worry sometimes that kids are spending, not necessarily kids, but people are spending too much time sat in a darkened room onto their computer screen doing whatever they’re doing, playing games or…..Facebook or whatever, but on the other side, particularly games do have a way of encouraging people to think more logically; games tend to present you with logical problems which you have to solve in some way, and that isn’t in itself a bad thing, so it depends how you look at it.  Certainly if I had a…..had a….a kid and he was spending more than a couple of hours a day playing computer games I’d try and encourage him to do something a bit more active, but then you’ve only got to look around and you see kids running around playing football and skateboarding, so I don’t….I don’t feel worried; I don’t look around empty streets and wonder what all the kids are doing.

     

    JH:

    Yeah right……..yeah so I know there’s no guilty conscience about developing a…..a tool for that purpose.

     

    SH:

    No no, I think people are capable of….I mean, I daresay a few hundred years ago people were saying ‘oh well what about these books?  Can’t be healthy, kids sitting around with their faces buried in these books – shouldn’t they be outside playing?’ but I don’t think anybody says that books have been a negative effect on…..on our society.

     

    JH:

    I do think like that games are kind of becoming more of a…..a way to socially interact.  I know some people who go to land parties where they get together and people take their PCs from their houses, like on public transport, on trains and things, and sometimes they get together in their hundreds and actually meeting face to face and things like that.

     

    SH:

    Oh yes, cos there’s many, many conferences and get-togethers, meetings of that sort, yes, but I mean it’s like any hobby isn’t it really?

     

    JH:

    Yeah yeah, suppose so, but yeah I think it’d be interesting to see…..see where that goes.

     

    SH:

    Oh yes very much so.

     

    JH:

    Where…..whereabouts do you live in Hebden Bridge?

     

    SH:

    Well I don’t like to give specific details in case my fans come after me [laughing], but….in the centre.

     

    JH:

    In the centre……and you say you’ve got a….a lodger at the moment?

     

    SH:

    Yeah.

     

    JH:

    What’s that like?

     

    SH:

    Fine, fine, lovely girl, yeah.  Got a little two year old kid, yeah, marvellous.

     

    JH:

    Like you said if you did have a kid, you’d be a bit worried if they were playing too many computer games, possibly.

     

    SH:

    Well doing anything to excess, I mean if they spent six hours a day in the bath I’d be…

     

    JH:

    A bit worried about that

     

    SH:

    Wondering what that was about, so yeah, anything to excess is obviously harmful, so I don’t think computer games have are particularly threatening in those terms, any more than say Facebook or….. reading poetry…

     

    JH:

    Do you think….do you see yourself in another twenty years in Hebden Bridge?  Do you think you’ll stay?

     

    SH:

    Well I’ve no immediate reason to move….at the moment, but then there are a great many other considerations…..I mean, obviously the social….structure of the country’s gonna be changing very rapidly in the next few years as government funding’s removed from society, so what effects that would have in terms of social mobility is.,….everybody’s guess…..but it may be that Hebden becomes such a…….a pricey place that it’s untenable to live here simply on the cost of buying food and local services; that has happened in some parts of the country……so no guarantees for anything

     

    JH:

    Yeah, and what do you think Hebden Bridge will be like in about twenty years from now?

     

    SH:

    Again, the chips are…..the dice are in the air; it could go one way, it could go the other.  It could go……people are getting poorer and when that happens, wealthier people tend to club together…..for protection, so whether Hebden will become I suspect, I fear it will go on the wealthy side rather than on the poverty side, so…..I guess…I guess it will become less diverse, more middle class…… if it hasn’t already gone that way…

     

    JH:

    If any of your games are really successful you will be living in a massive house.

     

    SH:

    I doubt that……no, I don’t see any advantages in a massive house.  No if ever I became wealthy I think I’d use the money for more…..useful things.

     

    JH:

    Like what?

     

    SH:

    Well saving some of the people from starving to death in Somalia would be a start.

     

    JH:

    Yeah there’s thousands or millions of other applications to go to.

     

    SH:

    There are a lot of things I’d spend it on before I spend it on a big house.

     

    JH:

    …….that’s pretty much…..got anything else to talk about?

     

    TW:

    Yes there are questions I’d like to ask….of Simon then maybe one or two of you really.  So, you were talking earlier about games like Hide and Seek and Treasure Hunt.  Now I know nothing about…..computer games really, but those are phrases, those are old games that children used to play outside, you know, fifty years ago or a hundred years ago.  I’m just curious…..why this technology has taken the place of them.

     

    SH:

    Well I don’t believe they’ve taken the place; it’s just another form…when you were a kid did you ever lay a trail by leaving clues on bits of paper and sticking them

     

    TW:

    Yeah.

     

    SH:

    People are doing the same thing now, but instead of bits of paper they’re leaving tags that you can only see if you’ve got a….an iPhone….. Augmented Gravity it’s called, so you plug in your iPhone at a certain location and if you’re in the right place you’ll see the message; if you’re not you won’t, so the idea is you have to follow these clues – a Treasure Hunt, so it’s no different really, it’s just using modern technology to do something that we’ve been doing since…..donkey’s years.

     

    TW:

    So, is….would that be….would it be true to say that an awful lot of computer games are just modern technology versions of older games shall we say, so that people who decide, like yourself, you want to design or write programmes for a certain kind of a game, you look back to what other…..what kids used to do in the past and think ‘oh I can do a new version of that’?

     

    SH:

    Yes and no…..the most played computer game ever is Solitaire, so you know, from that point of view, yes, but on the other hand multi-player games like World of Warcraft and such like, there’s no precursor with that, I mean it’s just never happened in the same way there was nothing before the telephone……when that was invented it changed the way that society worked, because suddenly you could talk immediately to people at great…..a long distance away, and I think they are a new technology in that sense, but there’s so many other new technologies as well…..

     

    TW:

    What other technologies then are you referring to?

     

    SH:

    Well…..the two….the two ones….the two technologies that have made the most impact on us personally…..well the impact on people generally…..one is military; a huge amount of money is being spent on the development of military software.  Artificial intelligence in that area to basically stop our boys getting….coming back in body bags.  If we can stop….I say we; if a government can send an unmanned drone and wipe people out without putting any of their own solders at risk, that’s obviously politically desirable, so that’s the most sinister and unpleasant aspect of it, and I think equally sinister and unpleasant is the use of profiling, where big companies like Google, Safeway, Sainsbury’, any…..Amazon, these big retailers do profiling on individual customers and attempt to….target specific services and advertisements in their direction which is…..it’s difficult to see how that’s gonna affect society in general, but it will I think further serve to isolate people because each person’s individual experience of the…..of the web which is going to be television, radio, it’s all going to be more or less coming through the web in future…..will be different, so the…..old ‘did you watch whatever’ is…..will decrease; people will become more…..individually served by the internet, which of course suits people who want to make money and divide and conquer.  People who are isolated will spend more money than people who are in a social….a socially cohesive group, and I’m worried about that, yeah, I think the……there’s too much power in the hands of people whose motivation is not socially led but it’s commercially led.

     

    TW:

    Right.  So it’s Orwell’s Big Brother idea in a way?

     

    SH:

    In a way yes.  We don’t know to what extent government has access to this information and to what extent it is using it, but the potential is there; I think we should be cautious, yes.

     

    TW:

    You talk about government but before that you were talking about massive corporations, so is it the corporations you fear rather than the governments, but the military is to do with government so are we between a rock and a hard face on the two of them?

     

    SH:

    Well effectively the mega corps, mega corporations run the governments because their power is so great that they….they can effectively threaten governments, you know, particularly the power companies like….what’s that big Russian gas producer….Gazprom….if they threatened to turn the gas off for Britain then there’s a crisis…..so the gas corporation has a huge influence over our government.

     

    TW:

    Would new technologies in that field put that to waste though?

     

    SH:

    Potentially so, but that…..I don’t see any running towards that, if anything the current government seems to be cutting down its research into alternative sources of energy, but they seem quite happy to allow foreign companies to…..dictate our values…..

     

    TW:

    The other thing I wanted to ask was about your…when you were talking about sales.  In years past you’ve bought….an object shall we say that you then owned and you used, whether it was a book or an LP or a tape of whatever

     

    SH:

    Or CDs, or computer games?

     

    TW:

    Yeah…..and now you’re talking about basically, you’re buying a password or you’re buying time.  Now all of that is still dependent on the fact that you have to have a telephone number don’t you?

     

    SH:

    You have to have internet connection or wi-fi.

     

    TW:

    Well could be wi-fi but it needs…..there needs to be a network of that sort of thing.  Now won’t the people who own that network be the power mongers in…..determining the amount of….the cost of so much time or that sort of thing?

     

    SH:

    Oh very much so, yes, I mean British Telecom has an effective monopoly over the…..over the actual physical transmission network and yeah, it’s a worrying thing.  There was a recent court case where BT was compelled to shut down a web site because it had copyright infringing content, and it’s only a short step away from that to…..shutting down a site because it’s got politically undesirable content.  The Metropolitan Police only recently suggested that if you came across any anarchists you should let the police know.

     

    TW:

    Is that right?

     

    SH:

    It’s true, yeah.  You know, if an anarchist…..an anarchist has a right to his political opinion.  If the police are suggesting that that’s somehow an undesirable thing, then it’s only a small step from flagging down web sites that are supporting certain political views that the state finds distasteful.

     

    TW:

    We’re back to Orwell again!

     

    SH:

    The potential is certainly there.  Under an uncaring government, what happens to the people is……an awkward thing.

     

    TW:

    …….another question.  You were talking about….you wrote a programme to do with handwriting.  I’d like to ask you a bit more about that and then a second related question about programs for the spoken word really.  First about handwriting.  What did it analyse, or what did it do with handwriting?

     

    SH:

    Well I mean….in order for handwriting to be legible you have to be able to distinguish each individual letter, so what I…..what I did was analysed the pen strokes that had been made and then I tried to match them to templates, so I had a template of the alphabet and each template, multiple templates of each letter of the alphabet based on different handwriting styles, and then, so you take the…..you try and isolate the first few pen strokes of a word, match that against this database of pre-existing letters and make a best guess as to which one it was.  If you didn’t get a match then maybe you…..take a few more pen strokes or a few letters, you get the idea…..the whole thing could have been done from words rather than letters, but…..which would be more accurate, but obviously your library would have to be absolutely huge because there’s a lot of words

     

    TW:

    Was this to be used by a medical profession by any chance?

     

    SH:

    No, it was…..the idea was that……there was a touch sensitive pad and that children would use their finger or a pen to write a word and the computer would recognise it and show them a picture of it, that was the idea, so it was…..the idea was to encourage people who had learning difficulties for whatever reason to…….use their handwriting….how effective it was I don’t know, but I believe it’s still selling….It wasn’t my cut  unfortunately.

     

    TW:

    Right.  What about the spoken word?  I believe there is some software these days that……you can play it like….this video tape that I’m recording on now and it will type out for you all the words that are spoken.

     

    SH:

    Yes it does

     

    TW:

    How advanced is all that side of things?

     

    SH:

    Moderately….I think you still…..you still have to go through it afterwards. I mean when you think of predictive typing on a mobile phone for example, it’s far from…..far from accurate.  I think it’s down to context, I mean the phrase that’s used is…eye recognised speech or I wreck a nice beach…..I mean those two phrases if said quickly are almost indistinguishable without context, so….and it’s going to be very difficult indeed for computers to contextualise what’s going on.  If two humans are talking and know each other, they know the environment that they’re in and their mutual interests, so if I say to them ‘somebody who sells deckchairs, I recognise beach’  they’re gonna hear ‘I recognise beach’ but if I say to someone ‘at university I’m working on AI and I recognise speech’ they’re gonna hear that, so context is all, and it’s very hard for computers to…..think contextually in that sense, so in terms of actual character definition, sound, word recognition and transposal, it’s pretty advanced but in that context a human would still have to read it and correct it, so some considerable time to go I think.

     

    TW:

    This idea of artificial intelligence then.  How is that….again like I say, I know nothing about these things, computer language is zeros and ones as far as I can work out

     

    SH:

    That’s computer data

     

    TW:

    And that can be for data.  Well what is AI then as compared to that?

     

    SH:

    Well artificial intelligence is where a machine does something in such a way as you to believe that it’s making a decision itself.  There was a famous……mechanical chess player for example – it turned out to be a fake in the end – it had a dwarf underneath pulling needles, but the idea was…

     

    TW:

    The Wizard of Oz!

     

    SH:

    It was an old fella, yeah, it got to the court of king what’s his name, and that’s artificial intelligence; you believe that this machine can play chess but it’s got…..so that’s basically it, I mean it’s….it’s even broader.  The main use of artificial intelligence is baggage recognition, so as the suitcases go through the X-ray scan in the airport there’s cameras looking at that and there’s computers analysing the profiles of what’s inside these cases and flagging up guns and or weapons or animals or whatever, so that’s the….probably the most primary use of artificial intelligence is in that recognition….you know, the cases, in games, you want your non-player characters, the characters within a game, to behave in a way that’s believable; you don’t want them to just walk up to a wall and keep walking at it, you want them to run away and hide effectively; you want to believe that they’re….you’re actually competing with them, so you try and make them as believable as possible.

     

    TW:

    Right, right……again, this social……network aspect of games I find quite, you see I don’t do Facebook or any of these sorts of things, and….but I watch a lot of news and politics.  People using Twitter and Facebook and the like, you can get instant news almost around the world in matters of seconds then it can be visual as well as words and data……which seems to have…..has part to do with the Arab Spring they say; whether that’s true or not, that might be very…

     

    SH:

    I’m sure it has an aspect, I mean communication is obviously key in any large…..what do you call it, an endeavour perhaps……but again as you say it’s all down to filtering, I mean a cunning government could very easily take use of that and Twitter or Tweet all the people who they believed to be involved with false information, so it….it cuts both ways, though I think broadly speaking it’s a positive thing.  It’s a good thing that people can take a video of…..ruined houses in Afghanistan or Iraq or Libya and post them onto the internet so we can actually see what’s going on rather than just believing what we’re told in the mainstream press or television, so from that point of view it’s useful, but I should imaging the government says they will, as China are doing, crack down on that.  It’s not in their interest for people to know what’s going on.

     

    TW:

    They seem to have done that in a big way really don’t they?

     

    SH:

    And getting bigger.

     

    TW:

    Yeah.  Do you believe it’s their government that is trying to hack our government’s…..data system shall we say?

     

    SH:

    Well, I don’t know……I’ve no insight into the Chinese government’s, foreign policy [laughing]

     

    TW:

    Fair enough!

     

    SH:

    There’s plenty of people who could….. Lul Sec recently hacked the CIA site, and I don’t think they’ve got any political motive other than saying….yeah, ‘stuff you’ [laughing]

     

    TW:

    Yeah…..right…..just to sort of give this……conversation a little bit more of a context, I’m just gonna ask Jake a couple of questions about what he’s just been studying and why he’s interviewing you in this particular way, but I’m going to move the

     

    SH:

    I’ll step out of the frame

     

    [END OF TRACK 1]

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About Us

Wild Rose Heritage and Arts is a community group which takes it's name from the area in which we are located - the valley ("den") of the wild rose ("Heb") -  Hebden Bridge which is in Calderdale, West Yorkshire.

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Pennine Heritage Ltd.
The Birchcliffe Centre
Hebden Bridge
HX7 8DG

Phone: 01422 844450
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