Information & Technology

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    Using consumer psychology to enhance mobile app recommendation

Using consumer psychology to enhance mobile app recommendation

Mobile apps play an increasingly important role in people’s lives and enrich almost every aspect, from social networking and health monitoring to shopping and entertaining. People now spend more time using mobile devices than PCs to access the internet. According to statistics from Yahoo’s Flurry analytics, 90 per cent of people’s mobile time is spent using apps, which they can […]

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    Blockchain can keep flawed data from machine learning systems

Blockchain can keep flawed data from machine learning systems

With the dramatic fall in popularity of cryptocurrencies and the wave of unpredictable volatility in the value of these immaterial currencies, comes a seeming drop in the interest in blockchain. Yet, the development of this technology and its application are still charging ahead in full force and blockchain’s full potential is yet to be seen, understood and implemented. We […]

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    Fake news: source ratings and better user interface design help us see deception

Fake news: source ratings and better user interface design help us see deception

Deception has been a long-running problem on the Internet, and it rose to global attention in 2016 with the Brexit referendum and the U.S. presidential election, when “fake news” was deliberately created and spread through social media as part of a disinformation campaign to influence voting. More than 50 per cent of adults get news from social media (primarily […]

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    Technologies of control: we have to defend our right of refusal

Technologies of control: we have to defend our right of refusal

It’s about time that we renewed a conversation about what it means an active digital citizen in the 21st century. The current conditions of our data-driven economy demand that we explore ways to deny technologies the possibility to control us.

Unfortunately, Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, which was the Obama Administration’s signature digital inclusion policy effort, marks the last time the US […]

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    The challenge of regulating biotech in personalised healthcare

The challenge of regulating biotech in personalised healthcare

In the last decades the hottest areas of medical innovation have been the fields of targeted therapies and personalised medicine – medical treatments tailored to the specific molecular features of patients or diseases. Monoclonal antibodies are the prime example of successful targeted therapies, while genuinely personalised treatments have not been as forthcoming as expected. The greatest promise in this […]

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    Unpicking the components of blockchain and their possible applications

Unpicking the components of blockchain and their possible applications

Blockchain is often discussed as if it is one single technology. But it is really a combination of several distinct features – decentralisation, distribution, cryptography, and automation – which are combined in different ways by different platforms. Some of these features may have benefits, while others may be unnecessary or even unhelpful – depending on the specific application. In […]

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    A dose of democracy in corporate governance may help save social media

A dose of democracy in corporate governance may help save social media

Hardly a day goes by without the national or international press publishing negative stories about social networks. Facebook has once more got problems in keeping the data of its more than two billion users under lock and key, or Mark Zuckerberg stands up another parliament in favour of a personal statement. YouTube, acting to protect children, disables the comment […]

Don’t fall into the AI doomsday trap

If you’re one of the many who see a dark future where the honest working man is replaced by mindless structures of automated metal, where technology has become so advanced that it is no longer under our control, and where the human race is overpowered by evil robots programmed to take over the world, 1) I envy your imagination, […]

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    Automation and disruption in the professional business model

Automation and disruption in the professional business model

Professional firms have long been able to use technology to preserve the commercial value of their business model. From the electronic calculator to spreadsheet software, technological advances allowed these firms to streamline operations by delegating labour-intensive, low-value tasks to cheaper and more efficient machines.

However, the story of technology and professional work is about to change. A new generation of […]

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    Blockchain governance: the system is not immune to capture by interest groups

Blockchain governance: the system is not immune to capture by interest groups

All blockchains have rules that govern their operations. As blockchains evolve, they may need to change their rules. Blockchain governance refers to the system in place through which decisions regarding the evolution of the blockchain are made. The question of blockchain governance is at the heart of a burgeoning debate in the blockchain community, where different governance systems are […]

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    In the race for AI supremacy, who will stand in the way of technological progress?

In the race for AI supremacy, who will stand in the way of technological progress?

In 2017 Russian president Vladimir Putin said that whoever becomes the world leader in the sphere of artificial intelligence (AI) will become the ruler of the world. Unsurprisingly, given his position (and previous form), his words were widely interpreted by the press as an attempt to draw divisions between nations – in particular, the two AI superpowers, China and […]

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    How our social interactions influence our decision to buy a new home

How our social interactions influence our decision to buy a new home

People regularly interact with their family, friends, and colleagues, but the effects of such social interactions on economic and financial decision-making are not well understood. Do such interactions influence people’s assessment of the attractiveness of investments such as houses or stocks, and if so, is the actual investment behaviour of those people affected? Are individuals more likely to purchase […]

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    Developing a research methodology for children’s online privacy

Developing a research methodology for children’s online privacy

With growing concerns over children’s online privacy and the commercial uses of their data, it is vital that children’s understandings of the digital environment, their digital skills and their capacity to consent are taken into account in designing services, regulation and policy. Our research project  set out to ask children directly, which was not a straightforward task.

Focus groups were a key […]

Algorithms writing academic books? What gives?

Apparently, there are now academic books generated by artificial intelligence algorithms.  An example just published by Springer Nature, and written by ‘Beta Writer’, is called Lithium-Ion Batteries: A Machine-Generated Summary of Current Research.  I don’t know anything much about lithium-ion batteries, nor about how these algorithms work, but I do know something about scientific knowledge and the way it is generated. I […]

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    Blockchain’s security weakness lies in the very thing that makes it secure: cryptography

Blockchain’s security weakness lies in the very thing that makes it secure: cryptography

Blockchain was originally designed as a technology to support cryptocurrency, and its use is expanding beyond its financial roots to benefit organisations across different industries. From enhancing customer experience in day-to-day trade, finance and cross-border payments, to smart contracts and IoT security, blockchain is transforming the way companies do business.

Despite its cryptographic history, organisations should not see blockchain as […]

Using economics to explain YouTuber popularity

What are social media stars or so-called influencers? This new type of superstars has emerged with the growing relevance of social media like YouTube or Instagram and is of considerable economic relevance – despite its sometimes amateurish reputation. According to Forbes News, the top 10 YouTubers of 2018 earned an aggregate 180.5 million US dollars, which is an increase […]

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    How internet companies are tackling online harm on their platforms

How internet companies are tackling online harm on their platforms

As it celebrates its 30th anniversary the internet revolution has lost its way. From democratising and emancipatory beginnings, the information superhighway has become a hotbed of crime, harm and offence, powered by designed addition and fake news. Unparalleled connectivity, automation and efficiency, have left people around the world scrambling to adapt to technology’s disruptive impact on everyday life and institutions of business and […]

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    Regulating social media: lessons from Britain’s first highway code

Regulating social media: lessons from Britain’s first highway code

There is much discussion currently regarding the regulation of the internet and, in particular, the taming of social media. Technology is causing problems to the extent that society is troubled, but this is not a new problem. There is a common pattern of technology emerging to address a problem, followed by the discovery that the technology itself can be […]

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    Building our online personas: do we reinvent ourselves? Or stick with what we know?

Building our online personas: do we reinvent ourselves? Or stick with what we know?

More than 20 years ago, in a now-classic manifesto, Tom Peters announced to the world that branding was no longer the domain of companies alone: regular people must also become marketers for their own “brands” — “the brand called You” — and actively ensure that the world perceives them as they wish to be perceived. That once-novel idea has […]

Preventing online harm

A new Online Harms White Paper, published jointly by the UK government’s Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport and the Home Office, calls for a new system of regulation for tech companies with the goal of preventing online harm. In brief, the paper (which outlines government proposals for consultation in advance of passing new legislation) calls for an independent […]