Miscellany: Covid-19 vaccines – intentions, celebrities, and marketing strategy insights

The Covid-19 vaccine effort is truly exceptional. First, how scientists have developed the vaccines at incredible speed. Then, the logistics of manufacturing, distributing and delivering the vaccines around the world. And, now, the effort of convincing citizens to get vaccinated. According to the Omni Calculator, given the UK government’s priority list, and assuming a vaccination … Continue reading Miscellany: Covid-19 vaccines – intentions, celebrities, and marketing strategy insights

Artificial Intelligence Committee report – Roadmap for the UK

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Committee has just published its report, providing a roadmap for the UK government, when developing the country’s national AI strategy. The Committee delivered 16 recommendations, across four areas of intervention. They are: Image source The full report – which is very readable – is available here. I particularly like priorities 5, 6, … Continue reading Artificial Intelligence Committee report – Roadmap for the UK

Friends and cookies – How we let our guard down, when interacting with technology

Individual biases shape what technology looks like, and how it works. For instance, the algorithm developers’ biases determine which “tune” we get when we ask Google for the “national anthem” (answer: The US one), or the type of conversations that Barbie might have with a child. That is why it is so important that development … Continue reading Friends and cookies – How we let our guard down, when interacting with technology

Blogging as an academic – what not to do

This week marked the 11th anniversary of this blog. For the past few years, on this week, I have published blog posts encouraging others to blog, and sharing some tips, based on my experience. However, the past year has been so different from the usual that I thought that I might do something a little bit different, here, … Continue reading Blogging as an academic – what not to do

Channel 4’s “Deepfake Queen” video – Good idea, bad timing

It is a tradition, in the UK, for the Queen to address the nation on Christmas day, via a message which is broadcast on BBC. Another tradition is for Channel 4 (a commercial TV channel) to broadcast its “alternative Christmas message”, at the same time. The message usually flags a contemporary, social issue – such … Continue reading Channel 4’s “Deepfake Queen” video – Good idea, bad timing

Musical diary 2020

Here is the playlist of songs that marked my year. Unsurprisingly, 2020’s list is dominated by tunes that remind me of the Covid-19 pandemic, and of being in lockdown. For instance, Under Pressure reminds me of the four of us living, working, schooling, exercising, etc… in a small flat; and The Middle reminds me of … Continue reading Musical diary 2020

[Miscellany] Christmas is here, again

Just like that (or what feels like “just like that” to me – maybe for those working in health services it feels never ending), it is December, and Christmas is around the corner. Four days’ away, to be precise. And, after that, the New Year. If you live in the Western Hemisphere, and if you … Continue reading [Miscellany] Christmas is here, again

Understanding and solving opacity in algorithms

One of the key challenges presented by algorithms is its opacity – that is, the inability to see how the algorithm produced a specific output. For instance, the ability to see how a search engine algorithm ranks content; how credit rating algorithm ranks the characteristic of potential borrowers; or, how a self-driving algorithm ranks external … Continue reading Understanding and solving opacity in algorithms

Useful typology of the role of technology in service interactions

The paper entitled “Frontline Technology Infusion: Conceptual Archetypes and a Future Research Agenda” offers a useful typology for the role of technology in customer service. The paper was authored by Arne De Keyser, Sarah Köcher, Linda Nasr and Jay Kandampully, and the authors provide various examples of how technology may 1) have no role, 2) … Continue reading Useful typology of the role of technology in service interactions