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

Why customers complain vs praise a brand

Much has been written about the value of customer feedback, and what motivates people to either praise or criticise a brand / product / experience. Though, many of these studies tend to focus on either positive or negative feedback, rather than the whole range of reactions, and the role of different drivers in those reactions. … Continue reading Why customers complain vs praise a brand

Understanding resistance to contact tracing: data being used for purposes other than those for which they were initially collected, and governments’ use of the data

I came across a paper reporting on a series of surveys of attitudes towards contact tracing, for the purpose of containing the spread of Covid-19, and how it related to concerns over privacy. The paper is entitled “COVID-19 Contact Tracing and Privacy: Studying Opinion and Preferences”, and it was co-authored by Lucy Simko, Ryan Calo, Franziska … Continue reading Understanding resistance to contact tracing: data being used for purposes other than those for which they were initially collected, and governments’ use of the data

Day in the Life of an Academic #11: Lockdown 2

November 5th marked the start of the second national lockdown in England. Lockdown 2 shouldn’t be particularly inconvenient as far as my household is concerned, given that schools and universities are still running, that we have more space, and that our way of life changed since last March (meaning that it doesn’t represent such a drastic … Continue reading Day in the Life of an Academic #11: Lockdown 2

October 2020 round-up

This month included 2 weeks of half-term for the kiddo. Since we did not use camps, and there were limited opportunities to meet friends, this created some challenges. So, it’s a good thing that the month started well (as far as productivity is concerned). Time blocks worked well for me, as did weekly and daily … Continue reading October 2020 round-up

What I am reading: “Happy Ever After” by Paul Dolan

I joined the LSE alumni book club and, this month, we are looking at the book “Happy Ever After” by Paul Dolan. Discussion questions include “Is Happy Ever After a myth?”. “What social stories have we experienced and do they make us happier?” or “Have you been able to break free of narrative traps and … Continue reading What I am reading: “Happy Ever After” by Paul Dolan