Information & Technology

Where is the internet headed?

Over the past few months, you’ve almost certainly heard someone lament the state of the internet.

It might have been a friend or family member, who learned the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica breach was worse than originally thought. Or maybe it was Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey, who recently acknowledged his platform had been compromised by bots and trolls. Or perhaps […]

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    Blockchain can help mitigate investment risk for the pharmaceutical industry

Blockchain can help mitigate investment risk for the pharmaceutical industry

Have you ever paid attention to the time, effort and business risk it takes to invest in new drug research and getting that drug into to the market?

It takes two to five years to come up with a new drug concept – and even longer to transform it into a lead drug candidate. It takes another two years to […]

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    Disruptive trade technologies will usher in the ‘internet of rules’

Disruptive trade technologies will usher in the ‘internet of rules’

Businesses, especially micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), face many challenges in understanding and complying with international commercial rules and regulations. Research also indicates low utilisation of eligible tariff preferences, or favourable tax rules, by traders. In other words, many businesses do not always effectively benefit from their negotiated market advantages. Unfortunately, the current “version history” (or stage in the […]

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    The EU’s data protection regulation will be a wake up call for companies’ cyber security

The EU’s data protection regulation will be a wake up call for companies’ cyber security

As businesses, we’re more vulnerable than ever. Whether you’re a private or public sector organisation, there is now an even chance that in any 12-month period, you’ll experience at least one cyber incident. Which means for those who haven’t had a potential threat on their radar to date, what you’re experiencing is merely the luck of an extremely narrow […]

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    The paradox of wanting privacy but behaving as if it didn’t matter

The paradox of wanting privacy but behaving as if it didn’t matter

The increasingly sophisticated and ubiquitous technologies centred on collecting and using consumer data are keeping the public discussion over privacy at centre stage. An important point of contention in that the debate focuses on the sometimes surprising nature of individuals’ privacy choices, and their relationship to the so-called “privacy paradox.” The term refers to apparent inconsistencies between people’s stated […]

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    The work–life conflicts of globally distributed software developers

The work–life conflicts of globally distributed software developers

Consider the words of a senior manager in a global IT company:

“I think our company historically has rewarded people who are very technically competent …Those people aren’t always the best people-managers….We need people who are leaders, who … set realistic priorities and understand you are going to be most effective as an employee when you achieve a good WLB [work-life […]

The personal car: an idea whose time has passed?

A few weeks ago, a pedestrian was killed on the road while walking outside of a crosswalk with a bicycle. This, unfortunately, is not something papers usually report on: nearly 1.3 million people die on the road every year. Approximately one person killed every 25 seconds. This tragedy was, however, historic: the victim was hit by an Uber running in […]

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    Using blockchain to make land registry more reliable in India

Using blockchain to make land registry more reliable in India

The word blockchain often conjures up thoughts of cryptocurrencies, of people dabbling in a seemingly dark art, making tens of millions of dollars. Blockchain was first linked to the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, but it is a technology that can enrich the lives of billions of people, in countless ways.

We believe it will have a huge impact in the developing world, […]

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    The rise of the regulator may lead to trouble for the blockchain

The rise of the regulator may lead to trouble for the blockchain

In 2018, regulation forms an increasingly important part of our lives. The popular media and the political sphere are increasingly in favour of more regulation – and I think we can agree that it’s rare but interesting to see the press take a pro-red tape stance. This perceived need for increased regulation is due to the fact that in […]

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    Cambridge Analytica and the deeper malaise in the persuasion industry

Cambridge Analytica and the deeper malaise in the persuasion industry

Recent revelations about Cambridge Analytica’s strategies and tactics have caused shock and outrage, in part because we want democratic processes to be just that, democratic. Decisions arrived at through popular suffrage – the next government, the decision about whether or not to leave the European Union – are ideally based on people’s rational, evidence-based opinions rather than manipulated emotional drivers such […]

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    Leslie Willcocks: the role automation plays in creating jobs has been largely ignored

Leslie Willcocks: the role automation plays in creating jobs has been largely ignored

Leslie Willcocks, professor of technology, work and globalisation at LSE’s Department of Management, finds incoherence and exaggeration surrounding the application of artificial intelligence and cognitive automation to work. In this video (3′ 26″), he discusses some of the findings in his new book. 


The video was recorded at Open House, a gathering of global teaching institutions offering the Economics, Management, Finance and […]

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    Facebook and Cambridge Analytica: let this be the high-water mark for impunity

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica: let this be the high-water mark for impunity

The last few days represent more than just the most recent and inevitable controversy emanating from Facebook’s beleaguered offices. The scandal over Cambridge Analytica’s participation in electoral manipulation and gross breaches of privacy have resonated more widely with users than the earlier allegations about fake news and Russian connections.

On an individual level, Facebook users have to contend with the […]

Detecting deception across media and cultures

You are sitting in your office in Montréal, in the middle of a Skype videoconference with your team in Hyderabad. The quality of the transmission, both video and audio, is very good. When you ask your colleagues about some delays in their deliverables, they assure you everything is fine. Then they start talking among themselves in Hindi. After a […]

Bitcoin may not last, but blockchain could be the real deal

Economist Nouriel Roubini, aka Dr. Doom since he predicted the 2008 financial crisis, called it “the mother of all bubbles.” The head of the Royal Bank of Scotland, Sir Howard Davies, invoked Dante’s Inferno to warn investors off it. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon flat-out called it a “fraud” – at least initially.

The target of this opprobrium was bitcoin, […]

Fast and fair: delivering customer service on social media

Last April, a bloodied passenger, Dr. David Dao, was dragged from his seat and off the plane of United Express Flight 3411 after refusing to relinquish his seat for United Airlines employees. The next day, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz tried to justify the removal of Dr. Dao in a public statement. He also sent an email to the […]

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    The media market and the battle for increasingly rare exclusive eyeballs

The media market and the battle for increasingly rare exclusive eyeballs

The battle for ‘exclusive eyeballs’ among media platforms explains the sharp decrease in advertising revenues for mainstream media over the last 10 years. Remarkably, the battle also generates more media diversity, since it becomes more profitable for media platforms to differentiate themselves to reach new audiences. This may result in greater polarisation and less duplication of content for the […]

Without urgent action big data may widen inequality

I would like to tackle the role of big and open data in contemporary society, and the well-justified fear that the development of related digital technologies and artificial intelligence may widen existing inequalities and social divides. The term “big data” is typically associated with the idea that lots of data, about anything and everything, can now be rapidly produced, […]

Blockchain: an overview

During the late 1990s, investors were eager to invest in any company with an Internet-related name or a “.com” suffix. Today, the word “blockchain” has a similar effect. Like the Internet, blockchains are an open source technology that becomes increasingly valuable as more people use it due to what economists call “the network effect”. Blockchains allow digital information to […]

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    Does social media foster polarisation? A close look at the handle @realdonaldtrump

Does social media foster polarisation? A close look at the handle @realdonaldtrump

Social media facilitates communication and an appealing question is whether citizens use it to endorse or criticize the government. I investigate individuals’ potential polarisation about President Trump, as reflected in his personal Twitter account. In this context, polarisation relates to expressing positive or negative judgements through social media.

The reach of social media is not trivial. Users use it to […]

How blockchain can help the fight against counterfeit goods

At one point, purchasing goods and services online was more of a novelty experience with high shipping costs. Today, online purchases are a ubiquitous part of the shopping experience. A 2016 study by the Pew Research Center found that nearly eight-in-ten Americans are making purchases online.

Most consumers are using the Internet to enter a global marketplace where they can […]