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

Data harvesting on social media as seduction

In an ideal world, customers would flock to our doors, buy our products over and over again, and happily tell others about their experiences with our brands. But, in the real world, that doesn’t usually happen. In the real world, marketers need to use various techniques to convince customers to use their product. For instance, … Continue reading Data harvesting on social media as seduction

Apple Watch Series 4 will appeal to older customers; and that is a great marketing move

At its latest event, on 12thSeptember 2018, Apple announced a new version of its smartwatch. The Apple Watch Series 4 includes features such as a display that has 30% more usable space than the previous versions, a fall detection mechanism which sends out an alert if the user remains immobile after the suspected fall, and … Continue reading Apple Watch Series 4 will appeal to older customers; and that is a great marketing move

A peak into tech giants’ terms and conditions

I don’t think that I have ever read a full set of terms and conditions from one of the tech giants. And I think that I am in the majority, here.   Most terms of service are extremely long, as illustrated by Dima Yarovinsky’s installation at the Visualizing Knowledge 2018 exhibition. The artist printed the … Continue reading A peak into tech giants’ terms and conditions

GPDR is great but not enough. A change in attitudes is urgently needed.

Did you survive #GDPRday, and the associated barrage of e-mails letting you know about updated privacy policies, or asking you to opt-in to mailing lists?   Let’s hope this new regulation will be a catalyst for change in organisations’ attitudes towards personal data. However, we can neither lay all the blame on organisations, nor all … Continue reading GPDR is great but not enough. A change in attitudes is urgently needed.

When consumers feel powerless about a situation, their attitude changes

I came across Dr Kristin Laurin’s work on rationalisation when she participated in episode 125 of the You Are Not So Smart podcast.   She found that people’s core beliefs change when they feel powerless about the situation that they find themselves in. This occurs via a process of rationalisation – i.e., we try to … Continue reading When consumers feel powerless about a situation, their attitude changes