Day in the Life of an Academic #8: fragmented vs focused work days

While I was reading the book ‘Deep Work’ by Cal Newport, about the value and challenges of doing focused work, I started paying more attention to the instances of deep vs shallow work in my life and, in particular, how it impacted on how I felt. I kept a diary for a couple of weeks. … Continue reading Day in the Life of an Academic #8: fragmented vs focused work days

Monday Miscellany 29 April 19

What AI is not Given my research interests on the use of AI in customer interfaces, I have been reading several definitions of what AI is and what it can do. So, it was somehow refreshing to read this definition of what AI is not and can’t do. It is from the book The Inevitable, … Continue reading Monday Miscellany 29 April 19

Book review “Deep Work” by Cal Newport

I have finished reading the book “Deep Work”, authored by Cal Newport. These are my reading notes about what is, in essence, a book about productivity. Its premise is that, to succeed in today’s information intensive economy, we need to be able to deal with, and learn about, complex subjects. As the author writes in page … Continue reading Book review “Deep Work” by Cal Newport

Monday Miscellany 15 Apr 19

Ship work Last week, Seth Godin shared the video from one of his talks and Q&A sessions. It is almost two hours long but super interesting - well worth grabbing a coffee and sitting down to enjoy this talk, available at: https://seths.blog/2019/04/new-video-new-workshop-and-other-launches-too/   One of the questions that resonated the most with me, came at around … Continue reading Monday Miscellany 15 Apr 19

Seeing the smart speaker as a servant vs a master vs a partner – Why it matters

I just came across a very interesting study published in the Journal of Marketing Management, which examined how smart speaker users viewed their devices, and how that related to their experiences of using the device. The study was conducted by Fiona Schweitzer, Russell Belk, Werner Jordan and Melanie Ortner, and its title is “Servant, friend or master? … Continue reading Seeing the smart speaker as a servant vs a master vs a partner – Why it matters

The early days of digital marketing #Web30

This month, we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web (WWW), an information management system which, essentially, collates and links to all webpages in the world. As the BBC Bitesize website helpfully reminds us, the WWW is different from the Internet, which is the actual physical network of computers. A colleague and I … Continue reading The early days of digital marketing #Web30

Biases in algorithms – the case of Hello Barbie

Sometime ago, I saw a presentation by Val Steeves, Professor of Criminology at the University of Ottawa (Canada), about her research on smart toys. The talk focused on Hello Barbie, a Barbie-branded doll which is advertised as “the first fashion doll that can have a two-way conversation with girls”, and featuring “speech recognition and progressive … Continue reading Biases in algorithms – the case of Hello Barbie