Information & Technology

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 […]

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    The Murdoch-Disney buy-out: What consequences for British viewers?

The Murdoch-Disney buy-out: What consequences for British viewers?

In December 2017 it was confirmed that Rupert Murdoch is selling a substantial part of his 21st Century Fox media empire (including the 39 per cent of Sky that he already owns) to Disney. This raises some difficult questions both for the British Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and for UK audiences. It is uncertain whether Murdoch’s Fox group will be allowed […]

Is car ownership on its way out?

Is car ownership going to die? The definite answer in the short term is no. The longer answer is that we are going to see a big shift in car ownership in the next 12 years. Interestingly, it’s an equation with several variables. It’s all in the economics, and the pieces are already on the table.

New technologies, new financing […]

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    Data in the age of increasing nationalism and trade disruption

Data in the age of increasing nationalism and trade disruption

Today, data is one of organisations’ most valuable assets. For most, it is instrumental in every decision-making process. It drives production and distribution strategies, new product development decisions, and customer service planning and execution. As the world moves toward a future in which artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are increasingly prevalent, data is sure to assume an even […]

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    More data or better data? Using statistical decision theory to guide data collection

More data or better data? Using statistical decision theory to guide data collection

Big data has become an increasingly common topic of discussion. While the amount of available data and its role in the economy will continue to grow, we worry that the big data revolution will not live up to its promise if it is guided by the principle that bigger is always better. Data quality will limit the usefulness of […]

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    Facebook’s newsfeed changes: a disaster or an opportunity for news publishers?

Facebook’s newsfeed changes: a disaster or an opportunity for news publishers?

Social media and digital executives in newsrooms already have a tough job connecting their content to consumers via social media, but Facebook’s proposed changes in the algorithms of its ‘newsfeed’ are going to make it a lot harder. Social networks offer immense opportunities for reaching vast new audiences and increasing the engagement of users with journalism. The most important platform in […]

AI and the democratisation of judgement and decision-making

Qualitative judgement – the ability to make considered business decisions based on a personal interpretation of the context and facts — has never been more important (or overlooked).

There are three main reasons why judgement will remain central to the practice of management and leadership in the years to come. First, qualitative judgement is the last preserve of humanity in […]