Data and AI Future of work

 Would life be better if robots did all the work?

Socratic dialogue on Radio 4, exploring the ethical issues around the automation of work. In a world where so much social, as well as economic, value comes from work, what happens if the humans aren’t needed any more? And would that be an improvement (and if so, for whom)?

Michael Sandel – The Public Philosopher

Organisational change Service design

Policy v5.127: Could government make services like Dyson makes vacuum cleaners?

A good summary of the people and methods bringing design thinking into government, with mini case studies of where it’s starting to make a difference. The provocative question in the title never quite gets answered, but there is a bit of a flavour that while there’s been a lot of progress in some areas, the vacuum cleaner of government itself hasn’t moved far beyond version 1.0.

John Lapping – Pieria

Data and AI Service design

In praise of cash

Does paying for things by card (and phone and watch and…) represent liberation from the need to carry coins around and enable faster, simpler transactions? Or is it a dangerous slide towards the privatisation of money and the advent of universal financial surveillance? And, most importantly it seems, can you get a coke from a machine when you want one?

Brett Scott – Aeon

Data and AI

Machine intelligence makes human morals more important

Zeynep Tufekci is a computer programmer turned sociologist, whose book Twitter and Tear Gas is coming out in a couple of months. This TED talk is the video parallel of Cathy O’Neil’s book, Weapons of Math Destruction. The core point is the same – that machines we don’t understand, trained on imperfect data, are as likely to be amplifying human biases as to be emobodying objectivity.

Zeynep Tufekci – TED

Presentation and communication

Do the hard work to help people learn

Most advice about presentations (and powerpoint) assumes you are standing between a large audience and a big screen, recounting a single narrative with a beginning middle and end. This post is about when you are having a conversation with a small group, when it’s faciliation as much as presentation.

Lots of good advice, including most critically, when powerpoint is just the wrong medium. Now where’s the overhead projector and a chinagraph pencil when you really need them…?

Matt Edgar