Information & Technology

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    Don’t curse the inflow of emails: It can help you do your job better

Don’t curse the inflow of emails: It can help you do your job better

Do you find yourself becoming frustrated because you keep getting bombarded with email at work? Do you think that email is not really interruptive because it is you who decides when — and whether —to read and respond to your incoming emails? But do you also find that while this might be true in theory, you often can’t help […]

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    Transitioning video and TV to the Internet: Policy and regulation must be updated

Transitioning video and TV to the Internet: Policy and regulation must be updated

Digitally driven disruption is taking place at a rapid rate and within an unexpectedly wide range of industry verticals, including media and transportation markets. A clear example of this trend is occurring in the media market, where the increasing number of live TV over-the-top (OTT) offers (streaming media via the Internet) is accelerating a transformation of how video and […]

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    Social media echo chambers create serious issues for organisations

Social media echo chambers create serious issues for organisations

Recent political events such as Brexit and the election of Donald Trump have taken political pundits and observers by surprise. How could these things have happened? One explanation offered is that we are increasingly living in bubbles of like-minded people that limit our ability to understand other points of view. These bubbles are a result of the “micro-targeting” of […]

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    New big data platforms are more efficient, but pose a serious threat to privacy

New big data platforms are more efficient, but pose a serious threat to privacy

The past few years have seen changes in the organisation of business models and work styles, caused by the rapid evolution of data analysis and data management systems. Business strategies are more and more driven by the integrated analysis of huge volumes of heterogeneous data, either directly or indirectly related to workflows. Data have become a key factor for making […]

Apps like Tinder commodify the intangible

“One of the most basic processes in higher brains is the ability to carry out perceptual categorization – to ‘make sense’ of the world,” stated neuroscientist Gerald Edelman, in his neuroscientific analysis of consciousness. So what happens when the world becomes too noisy to make sense of?

As part of a small-scale MSc research project, I investigated young adults’ conceptualisations […]

Blockchain and bitcoin: In search of a critique

One of the few things that has grown as fast this year as the price of cyptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, is the number of books available about them, along with blockchain technology and their many derivatives. There are now in excess of 500 books available on Amazon on these topics. These books include excellent technical guides like “Mastering Bitcoin: […]

Humans and artificial intelligence: Rivalry or romance?

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been developing at a frightening pace. It is debatable to what extent it has improved our lives – being able to use geolocation and search for the best restaurants or places of interest is great; however, AI is at the same time eliminating plenty of jobs, fast. A frequently cited report points out that a […]

Will online platforms be able to access your bank data?

The increasing importance of digital platforms and data to our lives is perhaps the defining trend of the 21stcentury so far. Facebook, in particular, wants to be essential to you: you can connect with friends, shop in the marketplace, and read the headlines, all for the cost of nothing more than tens of thousands of data points about you […]

How to design and price information for sale to others

Everyone seems to be talking about “big data” these days — what it is, where it is, why it’s important, who owns it and how to mine it. It’s like a gold rush with numerous prospectors jumping into the game, dreaming of striking it rich and cornering a market before others discover the location and size of their mine. […]

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    Our private data and the market for third-party providers of functionality to websites

Our private data and the market for third-party providers of functionality to websites

Your personal information is out there. You did not give it out, so how did it get there? Internet websites provide visitors with different levels of interaction, ranging from delivering basic information to providing sophisticated features and tools such as profile management, interactive visual communication, and of course, advertising. Like many traditional businesses, websites turn to third-party outsourcing to […]

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    Robo-advice in ten points – asset management on the cusp of dramatic change

Robo-advice in ten points – asset management on the cusp of dramatic change

The asset management industry is currently in a state of flux, and the manner in which individuals and institutions interact with their wealth managers is on the cusp of dramatic change. Digitisation and increased use of technology should mean that we are at the point of a low-cost revolution. This is likely to impact job security in financial services […]

Can Twitter sentiment predict stock market behaviour?

The stock markets are an incredibly competitive environment and nowadays hedge funds and investment managers are rushing to find innovative ways to produce profits for their investors and their institutions. In addition to therefore understanding the impact of macroeconomic events or regulatory constraints on specific investments, they are looking at new datasets as main sources of competitive advantage.

Someone is […]

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    Naps in the office – perhaps the secret of China’s digital success?

Naps in the office – perhaps the secret of China’s digital success?

We have just spent a week visiting Shenzhen, China, to see the headquarters of one of the world’s most innovative and fastest-growing companies – Huawei. Since its founding in 1987, Huawei has grown to become one of the world’s largest telecoms companies, with revenue of $75 billion. Globally it employs 180,000 with nearly 60,000 of these based at the […]

The iPhone X in context

So, there is another line of iPhones out – big deal? The iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and the X. The iPhone X – or, for people without knowledge of Roman numerals, the one-phone-ten – has a brighter and more advanced screen, can recognise you through 30,000 facial features, and has a number of other improvements over the previous versions. It is […]

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    Traditional firms are opening up to blockchain and its decentralised apps

Traditional firms are opening up to blockchain and its decentralised apps

Many decentralised applications (dapps) are in their beginning phases in terms of technology and regulation, which for some means the future of blockchain has an uncertain look. Some investors question whether or not these dapps will be useful, and struggle as the business models have yet to be proven. Few companies have undergone a large-scale transformation to blockchain, and […]

Wake up, algorithms are trawling your phone while you sleep

Wake up, machine learning algorithms have been trawling your phone whilst you slept. If you did. If you had a long sleep your health profile will record positive. Your health data is one signal that will be built into a profile of all your behaviour. It will be used to inform decisions about credit ratings and health provision. Unhealthy […]

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    Thoughts on the future of human knowledge and machine intelligence

Thoughts on the future of human knowledge and machine intelligence

Throughout history, nations and armies have brawled for knowledge. The burning of the Library of Alexandria, the destruction of Xianyang Palace’s archives, the secret investigations of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the destruction of the Mayan Codex, and many other examples illustrate the continuous human quest for owning knowledge or eliminating it from an enemy.

Knowledge however, has a peaceable face; […]

For 3D printing to go mainstream, it needs a platform

It is a truth all but universally acknowledged that in our digital age every great technology is in need of a platform to enable it to make the leap from technological renown to mass application. We have all heard of the stories of how sector after sector has been transformed by platforms. Think of telecommunications, media and entertainment and, […]

The regulatory future of algorithms

Automated decisions systems are becoming more and more common. Algorithms are used by banks, employers, schools, police and social care agencies. They might help to run institutions more efficiently, but if badly designed they have the potential to bring about significant harm such as discrimination or social marginalisation. Currently, there are expectations that the EU’s data protection reform (the General Data […]

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    Could the EU’s new data regulation be the catalyst for a more ethical social media?

Could the EU’s new data regulation be the catalyst for a more ethical social media?

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect May, 2018. Every firm, irrespective of its physical location, interacting with EU citizens, will need to make changes to oversight, systems and processes to comply with the new rules.

Little known and even less discussed, the GDPR is the most important change in how we are store and process […]