Malicious social bots are targeting brands, too

Social bots create misinformation, fabricate online reviews and spread false news about political candidates, maliciously attempting to control and manipulate public sentiments, and disrupt the democratic process. But are social bots “only” disrupting political life, or are they having an impact on brands, too? And, if so, what’s the consequence of that? Xia Liu investigated … Continue reading Malicious social bots are targeting brands, too

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

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

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

November 2020 round-up

Blimey, I am tired! November is always a bit tricky for me, because of the lack of bright day light. However, this year I seem to be struggling a little bit more than usual. Though, it's hardly surprising when you are living through a pandemic, and your other half had an emergency eye operation*, right?!  … Continue reading November 2020 round-up

Algorithms are not all powerful, autonomous entities

Facebook contractors working on content moderation are, reportedly, being forced back into the office because Facebook’s attempt to use Artificial Intelligence for this difficult task failed. The open letter from those Facebook contractors states that: “Facebook tried using ‘AI’ to moderate content—and failed. At the start of the pandemic, both full-time Facebook staff and content … Continue reading Algorithms are not all powerful, autonomous entities

Holiday season 2020 – Consumers planning to spend less money on gifts and celebration; focusing on healthy, local, durable and quality items

My social media feeds are full of people getting started on their Christmas decorations. For some, it is something to do in the face of additional lockdowns or movement restrictions. For others, it is part of the desire to see the end of 2020, and usher in a new (hopefully, better) year. Earlier in the … Continue reading Holiday season 2020 – Consumers planning to spend less money on gifts and celebration; focusing on healthy, local, durable and quality items