Is Social Media a Public Health Issue?

Something strange is going on in Westminster. Actually, a whole lot of strange things are going on in Westminster, but there's one in particular that is leaving me concerned. It's the way that it appears that the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care  Matt Hancock has taken on responsibility for policy around the … Continue reading Is Social Media a Public Health Issue?

Kudos where kudos is due

Back in those strange days when I worked at Microsoft there was a concept of giving and receiving kudos. This wasn't a soft skills thing that encouraged people to face the fear and start giving rich and rewarding feedback to one another. Kudos was a system that allowed for the automation and measurement of the … Continue reading Kudos where kudos is due

The Simple Question Fallacy

Our world is dominated by ideas of problems and solutions. Of questions and answers. And I'm beginning to wonder if there are cognitive biases at play that prevent us from being able to contend with the complexity that often arises from the answers that are required to solve seemingly simple questions. The trigger for this … Continue reading The Simple Question Fallacy

Problem-less solutions

So apparently Theresa May has asked her Brexit subcommittee to go away and think a bit harder about their two proposed solutions to the post-Brexit EU border and customs problem. One of the two approaches has been summarised as: A 'highly streamlined' customs arrangement - This would minimise customs checks rather than getting rid of … Continue reading Problem-less solutions

A state of confusion

When Chris & I spoke on Sunday evening about the emerging Cambridge Analytica story as we recorded WB40 I was confused. As further revelations have emerged through Carole Cadwalladr's fantastic and dogged reporting (which I have been following for months), I am reminded of the Morrissey lyric "I was happy in the haze of a … Continue reading A state of confusion

All in the eyes

The theme of facial recognition appears to be in the news at the moment. Not only, though, from the introduction of Apple’s latest thousand pound fondle slab, but from news about a research project that has been using machine learning techniques reportedly to identify sexuality. Now first of all there is a lot of media … Continue reading All in the eyes

Through thick and thin

I'm currently reading Christian Madsbjerg's excellent and highly recommended Sensemaking. At the core of the book is the proposition that whilst the modern world has become obsessed with what Madsbjerg terms thin data (mostly - numbers), to make sense of the work around us we also need to take account of thick data - emotions, relationships, context - … Continue reading Through thick and thin

The everyday sexism of AI

I'm currently preparing a talk for a group of HR professionals on the subject of AI, machine learning and robots. My opening gambit is going to be that robots have already taken over our houses and have us enslaved. A strong pitch. What are these robots of which I speak? Well, you probably know them … Continue reading The everyday sexism of AI

Imperial measures

One of the more ludicrous things that's come out the Brexit shenanigans is the recent idea that the exit from the EU might allow retailers to begin selling goods in imperial measures. Whilst I'm sure this will appeal to the Al Murray-esque (or the ones that don't get he's satire), I fear for the sanity … Continue reading Imperial measures