Previous blog posts

Apple App Store

Was Apple Wrong to Unilaterally Remove Apps from its Store?

Technology companies wield significant and increasing power. Was Apple wrong to unilaterally remove apps from its app store?
digital immortality

Digital Immortality

You only live twice, or so it seems One life for yourself, and one for your dreams… …this dream is for you, so pay the price Make one dream come true, you only live twice. John Barry / Leslie Bricusse (1967) And so sang Nancy Sinatra in the theme of the fifth instalment of the…
Google Duplex

Google Duplex is Incredible, but is it Ethical?

Copyright Google Inc. Last week, with much fanfare, Google revealed it’s latest party-trick, “Duplex” – an upgrade for their virtual assistant. At the launch, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced: “… our mission for the Assistant is to help you get things done”. No controversy there, you might think. He continues; “it turns out, a big…
Theresa May, AI and Ethics at Davos

Theresa May, AI, Ethics and the World Economic Forum at Davos

Theresa May is on her way to Davos, to speak at the World Economic Forum - and the papers are already stating that she is going to call for 'safe and ethical' artificial intelligence. In my opinion, before we can even start to talk about 'safe and ethical' artificial intelligence, we have to have ethical roboticists.
exponential growth

Exponential Growth and the Technological Singularity

The story of the child, King and rice is not the only fairy tale that’s spoken about exponential growth. Unfortunately, many AI writers and commentators are also carried away by such stories, I believe they are misguided in doing so. Here's why.
Managing Automation

Managing Automation: Employment, inequality and ethics in the digital age

Managing Automation Yesterday (28th December 2017), the IPPR (a UK think-tank) published their report into the effects of automation on the economy and posited some suggestions as to initiatives that might be put forward to address the problems foreseen with managing automation. While the report comes on the back of a wave of activity during…

Learning Machines – How Computers Got Smart

According to The Royal Society, only 9% of respondents have heard about Machine Learning, yet when faced with the impact this technology can have - it's something 100% of us have a view on. It seems every conversation on Artificial Intelligence comes back to Philosophy - read this to see why...

Gartner Magic Quadrants – How to make choosing the right data technology a piece of cake

The release of the 2016 Gartner Business Intelligence and Analytics Magic Quadrant has profound implications for everyone working in the Data Analytics industry. Read this article to see what has changed.

Ethical and Social Challenges for Machine Learning

Who are the potential winners and losers from the Machine Learning Age? The dataPHILOSOPHER was asked to give evidence to The Royal Society as part of their policy project on Machine Learning. Read more to see more details on this project and the areas of focus for Policy Makers and their advisers.

When one eighth of an inch becomes the difference between success and failure?

It's rumoured that Apple will shake the industry with the launch of its iPhone 7 later this year and abandon the standard headphone jack in favour of their own proprietary Lightning connector. I discuss the pros and cons of such a move and argue (again) for the need for industry to agree standards and consumers to enforce them.

Why don’t cars work like computers?

All cars are the same... or are they? Why are those little differences between vehicles that get in the way of you keeping your eyes fixed on the road? Why has the auto-industry only embraced a limited form of standardisation in the design of cars?

How to avoid Star Wars and see the world in a better way

Six ways to avoid the new Star Wars movie, and why Google needs some data visualisation Jedi to help us see the world in a better way...

Why you should never make a decision without Data

Why running from a woolly mammoth is not always a smart choice, and other data driven questions from the modern world.

The tyranny of the survey is over. Now it’s time to speak out in your own words…

"On a scale of 1-to-5, from very dissatisfied to very satisfied, what do you think..."
Find out how technology will soon bring an end to these pointless surveys, and how we'll all be back to expressing our feelings, in our own words soon.

Why even on Thanksgiving, I can never be at peace with Infographics…

Thanksgiving by numbers. Sadly Thanksgiving 2015 seems to have been hijacked by Infographic designers. Let's explore where they get it wrong!

Can you feel it? How to improve the human – computer interface…

What can we learn from the natural world to help us build better human - computer interfaces? Is the bombardment of information from machines (both visual and audible) sustainable? Can we find a better way? Find out.

The 3 wise men: Gates, Hawking, and Musk. Will there be a fairy tale ending to why AI matters, today? – Part III

What is all the fuss about AI today? How exactly could AI ever become a threat? What exactly is Gates, Hawking and Musk worried about? Find out.

Lawyers: How you will lose your job… Why AI matters, today – Part II

Will anyone cry if lawyers lose their jobs to technology? What of the rest of us? Who will be the commercial winners from investment in the Artificial Intelligence Industry? Read on to find out.

Why AI matters, today? – Part I

Do you think AI is the stuff of science fiction? If so, read this three part post to find out how much you know about AI and why it really matters, today.

Data Visualisation by Dummies

Can you spot the difference between a good Data Visualisation and a poor one? Have you ever been misled by a chart simply because of how it was presented? Do you simply want to laugh at some catastrophic creative failures? Read on.

How smart is your home?

Named after the Butler in Batman, Alfred promises to be a solution for all smart home enthusiasts like myself by integrating all my devices into a single platform. No more will I have to search for the Philips Hue app to control my lights, the Belkin or Geo apps to control my power sockets, or the Nest app to control my heating - Alfred can control all of my smart devices from a single interface...

Data and the war between Business and IT

Have you ever been caught in the cross-fire between the Business and IT? Do IT have too much power, do they not understand the needs of users? Are the Business a dangerous maverick bunch who should be restricted, controlled, and monitored - prevented from straying outside governance and policy? You decide.

Your data is important to us

Why do firms such as Google collect all this data on us in return for using apps and services for free? Could there be a better way?

Sorting your algorithms from your heuristics

So what's the difference between an Algorithm and a Heuristic?
"A heuristic is an algorithm in a clown suit. It’s less predictable, it’s more fun, and it comes without a 30-day, money-back guarantee.”

5 things you need to think about before investing in Big Data

The five key areas of thought before investing in Big Data. Above all, if you can follow the Golden Rule - you won't go far wrong!

Review of Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy, by Melanie Swan

A blockchain is a transaction ledger where groups of transactions are encoded into ‘blocks’ then ‘chained’ together and distributed across the network. There are a number of features that make it special, in particular the fact that the blockchain is massively distributed.

One Way Track

Why can't we automate the London Underground (and other mass transport networks)? Is safety really at risk, or is this just a smokescreen from the Unions? Could the threat of automation dissuade workers from taking industrial action in the future...?

Are Asimov’s Laws still valid to protect humanity from malevolent AI?

The singularity, Asimov's Laws, and Philip - a robot that's even older than Arnie...

meta – ‘data’ – phorically speaking

So what is a Data Scientist anyway? Are they just jumped up statisticians or does the term provide some greater insight into what they (should) be doing?

The Measure of a Man

What can we learn from Star Trek to help us answer the ethical questions the Artificial Intelligence industry are posing to us...?

Brent Spiner Charles Radclyffe

#drivenbydata

In June 2015 I stepped down as CEO of BIPB, a company I had spent the previous five years developing. My final event with BIPB was in March 2015 when we were fortunate enough to have Brent Spiner join us, the actor famous for playing the character 'Lt Commander Data' in the Star Trek TV and movie franchise...