Information & Technology

The complex task of improving media literacy

Last time I wrote about media literacy, I was glad to observe that, as the media increasingly mediate everything in society, there is growing emphasis on the importance of ensuring that people have the media literacy not only to engage with the media but to engage with society through the media. But I was also frustrated at some of the superficial hand-waving from policy makers […]

How to build a winning data culture

It’s common knowledge that data can separate the winners from the losers in business. According to McKinsey, companies that treat their data as a corporate asset grow revenues five times faster on average than companies that don’t. But it’s one thing to want to be a data-first business and quite another to actually build a robust and sustainable data […]

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    Friend or foe: five questions outlining the future of artificial intelligence

Friend or foe: five questions outlining the future of artificial intelligence

Is artificial intelligence going to usher in a golden age of humanity by solving our most intractable problems and creating vast amounts of wealth? Or is it the ultimate menace, a threat to our jobs and, ominously, our very survival as a species? It depends on whom you ask… and what they happen to believe about technology and humanity.

Few, […]

Blockchain will open up the global retail banking system

Blockchain and its associated technologies burst into the public consciousness in 2015 after a relatively slow build-up spanning several years. In the course of 2017 blockchain became one of the most hyped technologies ever and has found a particularly keen audience in the banking world due to the promise of greater efficiency, or in other words, cost.

Banks globally have […]

What ever happened to social capital in the internet era?

You are finally at home after a busy day at work. An invitation to join friends watching the latest episode of the Avengers saga at the cinema pops up on your smartphone. You are tired, and you already planned to spend a relaxing night at home, ordering pizza through Deliveroo, listening to your favourite music with Spotify and watching […]

The unspoken global race for artificial intelligence

Two men walk into a bar, the first one says: “robots will conquer our civilisation and make us their servants within ten years”, the second one responds: “No, the principle of artificial intelligence (AI) is a far-fetched goal that will never see light”. The bartender smiles, analyses their facial expressions, assigns a sentiment score to their sentences, evaluates their […]

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    Human in the loop: why we will be needed to complement artificial intelligence

Human in the loop: why we will be needed to complement artificial intelligence

Along with artificial intelligence (AI), it is likely most readers will have observed the increased press coverage around automation. More recently these two terms are being used jointly to present a world where AI can significantly push the envelope of what is possible to be automated today. Whilst I believe this is true, it is worth analysing the state […]

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    The playing field between YouTube and television will be a bit fairer, but still far from level

The playing field between YouTube and television will be a bit fairer, but still far from level

On 2 October MEP Sabine Verheyen announced: “we have established a fair, level playing field,” celebrating the adoption of the revision to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), which now will also cover “video sharing platforms” (VSPs). This was an overstatement: the Directive may make things a bit fairer, but can do very little to even out competition for […]

Synthetic knowledge and the internet of things

In principle, there is broad consensus that knowledge should be the basis of environmental sustainability policies. Knowledge about the environment is often generated by corporations, in addition to governments, as part of their industrial activities (Mukerji 1989).

The Arctic is an important crossroads of industrial development and environmental preservation (Figure 1), as calculations suggest that it contains one-fourth of the […]

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    The age of platforms brings threats and opportunities for the chemical industry

The age of platforms brings threats and opportunities for the chemical industry

Several industries have been disrupted by companies with a platform business model. Think of telecommunications and advertising (Google, Facebook, Tencent); retail (Amazon, Alibaba); travel (Booking.com); music (Apple, Spotify); and entertainment (Netflix). Other sectors are under disruption: from mobility (Uber, Lyft) to payment and financial services (Paypal, Alipay). Platforms are taking over the world.

Although the first sectors to be disrupted […]

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    Can your organisation benefit from embracing the open source way?

Can your organisation benefit from embracing the open source way?

A recent Forbes article indicates that corporate engagement with open source communities has grown to become a strategic imperative over the past couple of decades. An increasing number of companies are paying their employees to contribute to such communities. This is one manifestation of a broader growing trend toward closer collaboration between companies and open source communities. Well-recognised companies […]

Getting the best out of your crowdsourcing contest

For a firm, big or small, the idea of outsourcing tasks, especially innovation tasks, that are either costly or risky is attractive. This is especially so when outsourcing is made easy by the Internet. Some firms use their own sites (e.g., Netflix or Dell), while others use well-established crowdsourcing platforms, such as InnoCentive for engineering problems, Kaggle for data […]

September 25th, 2018|Featured, Information & Technology|Comments Off on Getting the best out of your crowdsourcing contest|

Can social media sentiment affect stock market performance?

The boom of social media in the past decade has transformed the way investors forecast the stock market. As social media provides large volumes of real-time user opinion, investors can potentially exploit that information by leveraging machine learning and natural language processing techniques. In recent years, popular news channels have repeatedly reported that predicting the market using “alternative data”, […]

Net neutrality in a hyperlinked internet economy

Have you ever realised that the websites and social platforms you use are full of links that lead you to contents, videos or advertisements of other content providers? And that you usually surf from one site to another without typing their URL addresses? No doubt, this is an important feature of the internet. For instance, direct visits of The […]

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    How do children judge what’s appropriate to share online, and with whom?

How do children judge what’s appropriate to share online, and with whom?

How can social media platforms respect the “best interests of the child” if they don’t know which user is a child? How can they meet the needs of children of different ages if the law imposes “bright line” rules – 13+ (COPPA), 16+ (GDPR)? Yet how can society not extend hard-won child rights-respecting policy and practice from offline to online? And why […]

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    Piracy could be a blessing in disguise for content supply chains

Piracy could be a blessing in disguise for content supply chains

“He intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for society that it was no part of his intention”.      — Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, p. 477

Manufacturers of […]

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    How e-marketplace sellers configure platform-based functions to increase sales

How e-marketplace sellers configure platform-based functions to increase sales

An equivalent of over US $887.40 billion of online retail transactions took place via e-marketplaces in China in 2017, rising 29.6 per cent from a year earlier according to iResearch 2018. The growth of e-marketplaces has been accompanied by increasingly intense competition among sellers on transaction platforms. For instance, more than nine million sellers are competing on Taobao, China’s dominant […]

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    A shared audience amplifies people’s influence over their peers

A shared audience amplifies people’s influence over their peers

When consumers speak positively about a product or brand on social media it can have a very large influence on other consumers’ purchase decisions. In fact, recent research has found that user-generated content has a greater overall influence on purchase activity than marketer-generated content, i.e., marketers’ attempts to advocate on social media for themselves, or coverage in the popular […]

Google’s involvement is a step forward for blockchain

Just before the Google Next event at the end of July, Google announced that it had partnered with two different blockchain technology companies to integrate their solutions into Google Cloud. These partnerships were made with an objective of helping enterprises streamline the development of blockchain applications as the technology continues to rapidly gain popularity.

With more than 86,000 blockchain projects […]

Notes on the public debate about digital responsibility

Policymakers and the Silicon Valley giants are engaged in a battle over freedom and regulation. The UK’s Internet Commission is catalysing a new, positive cycle of organisational accountability, transparency and multi-stakeholder dialogue. The dialogue on digital responsibility brings policymakers, academics and activists together with online firms to make progress on digital responsibility and accountability.

One of the first meetings in this […]