Information & Technology

Insider hacking doesn’t depend only on individuals

Insider threats pose significant risk to an organisation’s digital assets that can severely impact business objectives. According to the 2015 Vormetric insider threat report, 89 per cent of organisations surveyed believe they are at risk from insider attacks, and 55 per cent suggest privileged users pose the greatest internal threat to security of corporate data. Information security researchers have […]

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    Something must be done about harmful online content, but what exactly?

Something must be done about harmful online content, but what exactly?

Does any issue, in these divided times, unite UK politicians and commentators more than the regulation of online platforms? MPs, Lords, ministers, opposition frontbenchers, charities, newspapers, broadcasters and a succession of think-tanks agree: something must be done about harmful online content.

The question is, what? The Government is finalising a white paper for publication before the end of March; it seems even […]

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    Monitoring and surveillance technologies shift power dynamics in the workplace

Monitoring and surveillance technologies shift power dynamics in the workplace

Whether it’s the use of closed circuit televisions or keycard access to track movement, expectations of privacy are often left at the door when an employee enters the workplace. New technologies are enabling greater and more pervasive forms of monitoring and surveillance, resulting in new challenges for workers. Public debate both in the United States and in Europe have […]

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    Our digital selves and the straitjacket that data extraction imposes on us

Our digital selves and the straitjacket that data extraction imposes on us

How many social media profiles do you have? Do you feel that you express yourself accurately through these profiles? Do they reflect who you are? And who are you in the first place? Are you always the same? Do you present yourself the same way at different times and on different social media?

Profile making has become ubiquitous in digital […]

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    As artificial intelligence changes the world, it changes our language too

As artificial intelligence changes the world, it changes our language too

New technologies don’t just change the world, they change our language too. The automobile era gave us over a thousand new words and phrases such as limousine, drive through, hot rod, tailgate, and muscle car. Computers gave us chips, CPUs, beta testers, operating systems, programs and bugs. The Internet has already contributed hundreds of new words and new meanings […]

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    How to make the most out of machine learning by investing in people and technology

How to make the most out of machine learning by investing in people and technology

Machine learning is poised to pave the way for many exciting opportunities for businesses, but there are many hurdles to be crossed before getting to the finishing line. Many organisations are still struggling with legacy systems and are slow to invest in more advanced technologies. But the more pressing issue at hand, one that has been an ongoing problem […]

The deep roots of the trust crisis

We all depend in our social, business, financial, and political affairs, on a shared currency of trust. But we have somehow devalued this currency and breaches of public trust have recently grown to epidemic proportions. Donald Trump, the President of the United States, is perhaps the most worrying example of this, with unfounded statements and poorly researched policies the […]

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    Why patients support each other in healthcare virtual support communities

Why patients support each other in healthcare virtual support communities

Individuals increasingly rely on healthcare virtual support communities (HVSCs) to complement and/or supplement the support available in face-to-face settings. Many reasons contribute to this phenomenon. While relatives and close friends can provide physical and tangible assistance (providing goods or services needed during stressful situations), these helpers oftentimes lack stress- or disease-related expertise and experience to provide adequate support. Additionally, […]

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    How to tackle the spread of misinformation and the problems it causes

How to tackle the spread of misinformation and the problems it causes

When we began the consultation process for the LSE Truth, Trust and Technology Commission, it was curious to observe how the widespread perception of “a problem” quickly dispersed, on closer examination, into many problems. Each of these problems was of a very different kind – and not all of them turned out to be so very new, despite the sense […]

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 […]