The SmallDataForum convened in late March, and as for our big story, we had several candidates and angles on the same theme of the use and abuse of data. This episode's show notes were written by Thomas Stoeckle. Sam is now a newly published author of a book about how to tell powerful and purposeful stories with data, Narrative by Numbers. A very timely (and equally timeless) topic and title. A recently published study in Science about the velocity and spread of true and false news … [Read more...] about SDF Podcast 17 – “Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it”
Even if you're not interested in nor a user of Facebook, you'd have been hard pressed indeed to have avoided the blaze of publicity about the social networking site every day this past week. That blaze has been white hot in its ferocity and intensity on alleged wrong-doing by the American firm, and by a British political consulting and data mining company called Cambridge Analytica, over the mishandling of data related to more than 50 million users that allegedly played a significant role in … [Read more...] about What next for Facebook?
As the Small Data Forum progresses through its early teenage years – our latest podcast is episode 14 already – regular co-hosts Thomas Stoeckle, Neville Hobson, and Sam Knowles are taking the opportunity to look forward by looking back. Patients of our own medicine, you might say, we’re using the year end and what we’ve observed and learned in 2017 to enter the predictive analytics business. We take our inspiration from Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, transitions, and time, after whom … [Read more...] about SDF Podcast 14: Looking forward by looking back
"Trust, but verify" is a phrase that was used often by Ronald Reagan. It is more than a little ironic that this is originally a Russian proverb (Doveryai, no proveryai). Trust is also what links the various topics in episode 13 of our podcast (with show notes written by Thomas Stoeckle). From Chinese citizen scores to alleged irregularities in the UK referendum and the US presidential election, the implications of GDPR and the prospects of blockchain: trust is the glue that should hold … [Read more...] about SDF Podcast 13: 1984 meets Pavlov’s dogs
Researchers say social, ethical and political concerns in the UK about artificial intelligence (AI) are mounting and greater oversight is urgently needed, according to the Guardian. Otherwise, we could expect to see the kind of social disruption that greeted the advent of genetically-modified (GM) foods during the past decades. The Guardian's report notes that there are no testing standards or requirement for AI to explain their decisions. There is also no organisation equipped to monitor and … [Read more...] about Artificial intelligence risks GM-style public backlash, experts warn
The Guardian reports on a rise in complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the UK advertising regulator, who says ‘influencers’ on social media sites such as Instagram and Twitter fail to declare that they are being paid to publicise products. The newspaper defines 'influencers' thus: Social media celebrities who have large and engaged followings online. They get paid money to publicise products and can command tens of thousands for one post. This is about disclosure where … [Read more...] about Social media stars breaching rules on promoting brands, watchdog says
In the 2004 science fiction film I, Robot, the police detective hero played by Will Smith is in a car crash resulting in his vehicle and another sinking in a river. The other car contains a trapped 12-year-old girl. With imminent death by drowning confronting both characters, a rescue robot appears and rescues the hero from his doomed car but leaves the girl to die. Why? Because, the robot's logic tells it, her survival was statistically less likely than the Will Smith character's. This … [Read more...] about Who should die when a driverless car crashes? Q&A ponders the future
Shel and I got together for the September edition of The Hobson & Holtz Report to talk about these topics: The self-inflicted downfall of the UK PR agency Bell Pottinger (and kudos to the PRCA for putting teeth in its ethics code) How various fields will be affected by speech recognition (including PR and communications) Mitch Joel’s open letter to the advertising industry: Let’s not mess up ads for voice The proliferation of fake scientific journals (and what it means for the … [Read more...] about For Immediate Release 105: Centre Stage for Credible Sources