Trust in Algorithms

Another day, another airline algorithm atrocity - this time not a doctor being hauled down the aisle by United, but a ten year old child being barred from travelling with his family by Air Canada. For all of the talk about PR disasters and customer service woes, in our automated algorithm obsessed world one dialogue … Continue reading Trust in Algorithms

Driverless trains

If we are on the cusp, according to the likes of Elon Musk, of all being whisked around in the comfort of autonomous vehicles, why aren't our train systems already ubiquitously automated? Whilst I have no doubt that driving a train is a challenging task, presumably without the need to actually steer surely the challenges … Continue reading Driverless trains


Earlier this week I had a connection request on LinkedIn from someone under the nom de plume of Unemploy Bot, claiming in its headline "I will take your job soon!". Normally I'd shun such nonsense, but there was something about Unemploy Bot that tickled me. I accepted the request, and got into a short conversation, … Continue reading Adaptability

“And you return the favour”

When I started a job as a consultant for a management training company back in 2005, I vividly remember a conversation over dinner with my school friend Cath. “I don't know how you could do that. Whenever I go on training courses I spend the whole time petrified that the trainer is going to point at … Continue reading “And you return the favour”

The influence of the network

Another fascinating day at Julia Hobsbawm's Names Not Numbers event in London. It's a hugely eclectic day, yesterday spanning the role of theatre in politics, advances in the life sciences, David Bowie, the neuroscience of truth and an interview with the artist Maggi Hambling who I think has now become my favourite sweary creative (wrestling the … Continue reading The influence of the network

User-centred HR

The meandering path of the comb-shaped professional means that one can end up doing work that one wasn't expecting. In fact, it's fair to say that most of my work these days falls into this category. And so as such I currently find myself on an assignment looking at the way in which modern cloud-based … Continue reading User-centred HR

The second wave

I was in conversation this week with a senior IT chap from a big, global industrial conglomerate. It's a world away from most of the organisations I've worked for over the years- namby-pamby creative or professional services businesses who wouldn't know one end of a monkey wrench from the other. It's easy to fall into … Continue reading The second wave

The Thinking Duck

A new week, a new book. This week it's Steven Johnson's Wonderland: How play made the modern world. Johnson's thesis is that much technological innovation attend from the pursuit of happiness and distraction rather than from hard-headed economic need. In one of the early chapters he charts how the work of automata manufacturer Jacques dear … Continue reading The Thinking Duck

All in a glance

At the end of my street is the reasonably busy road that links the suburbs of Teddington and Kingston. At peak times the traffic can pass slowly, sometimes queuing in one or both directions. Even at non-peak times there is a constant flow of cars in both directions. Taking a right turn North out of … Continue reading All in a glance

New Turing Tests

In conversation yesterday I realised that I've developed an occasional habit of defining alternatives to the Turing Test as ways of understanding quite how far away Artificial Intelligence really is. Here's the compilation... An observation that humans are getting quite good at being able to parse complete gibberish that is the result of "AI" autocorrect … Continue reading New Turing Tests