Appocracy

Back in the early 1980s my then senior school, Bushey Hall, was faced with closure. The local education authority had proposed that the place should be shut, merged into another school a mile or so up the road. Parents and pupils fought the proposal. We organised. We created a petition, and got many thousands of … Continue reading Appocracy

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

When I grow up I want to be a science

The hope here is that HR can empower organisations with robust tech and data to turn the art of people management into a science Perusing an article from HR Magazine yesterday about the impact that technology is having on the HR industry, I started to wonder what it is that people really mean when they say that … Continue reading When I grow up I want to be a science

The European lobster pot

And so the debate continues to rage about the UK's exit from the European Union. In the last 24 hours, the incomprehensibly complicated nature of the UK's constitutional structure has become illustrated with court rulings about the primacy of parliament in our set up. A judges' ruling on the rule of law gets painted as … Continue reading The European lobster pot

Poker face

Whatever your views on Britain leaving the European Union, the country is certain now to be entering an extended period of negotiation with the EU and its member nations to unpick the UK from its forty-year relationship. In the past few weeks there has been a repeated claim from various government ministers that we shouldn't be … Continue reading Poker face

Crap tech industry metaphors: 16 low hanging fruit

We've got an apple tree at the bottom of our garden. Because I have the gardening abilities of a small pickax, the base of the tree is surrounded by weeds, many of them big and spikey. The lower boughs I can reach. The fruit there is invariably half eaten, by birds, by maggots. I'm convinced … Continue reading Crap tech industry metaphors: 16 low hanging fruit

Everything is a complex system

"How do you eat an elephant?" The metaphor is oft repeated in working life, and elephant eating seems to be a stock in trade of the average large organisation. But nobody seems to stop and ask "Why the bloody hell are we eating elephant? Isn't there something a little smaller?" Simplification has become the mantra. … Continue reading Everything is a complex system