Insights mailer

The monthly mailer we put out to a fine selection of successful business leaders is packed full of insightful articles, stats and opinion on a range of subjects.

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Here’s the latest example of the mailer (note: links have been disabled):

June, 2019

The end of the week is here, I hope you have a super weekend planned.

In developing this mailer, I hope to be able to deliver to you each month a selection of useful and insightful articles which you can drop into conversations and meetings. So they really ought to be relevant and topical. Any feedback you can share to improve and develop what is covered, please do drop me a quick reply.

Next time someone mentions Artificial Intelligence…

Of course, any emerging technology is going to require time to ‘get right’, but there seems to be a lot of faith being put into AI. But, is it biased? Short answer, yes. There are lots of examples of where AI has got it wrong, here are just a few:
  • The Amazon algorithm for sifting CVs which was scrapped due to it being biased against female applicants
  • The algorithm used in US criminal justice system to predict likelihood to re-offend which was racially biased
  • Google Images search results for “CEO” in which 11% of images shown were of females when in reality 27% of CEOs are women
These might appear to be easy-to-fix problems but the potential for bias in AI is huge. Bias is created in fundamental ways: by not framing the question correctly, in collecting and preparing the data and of course in the actual execution of AI and ‘deep-learning’.

Many of the datasets which form the basis of deep-learning are flawed in that they under-represent certain groups, often minority groups. These problems can have serious repercussions and are often exacerbated by what we define as being ‘fair’. Fairness as a concept is not something easily agreed on and changes according to culture, location, identity etc. Ultimately, it is a question of ethics.

For further reading, try this Cathy O’Neil (author of Weapons of Math Destruction) article on the need for regulation of AI algorithms. On the flip side, something more light-hearted and creative, try this video of a chair designed by Philippe Starck using an AI platform.

Next time you hear someone say “The Russians have been a bit quiet lately…”

Well, actually no. They are apparently now blocking GPS systems and causing chaos, forming some kind of anti-GPS-shield around Putin (or is he actually Magneto?). Given just how much we rely on GPS systems (ships, planes, cars, people, just about everything that moves), this might give us our next big Russian-induced anxiety attack.

Next time you see someone carrying a Tote bag…

Simply say… “Did you know Tote bags are actually worse for the environment than plastic bags?” *Then duck*. I find this hard to believe but this article from Quartz makes some solid arguments against the Tote (although on marine litter, plastic is still public enemy #1).

Fake News? Us Brits don’t believe a word (really?!)

Research from YouGov indicates that the UK is the country least likely to trust information on social media. In fact we’re pretty unlikely to trust anything other than National TV news channels and local news organisations. So the effect of fake news on recent elections and referendums might be over-played?

Teenagers would need to spend 63 more hours a day on screens for it to negatively impact their well-being…

Of course, this is nonsense but it is a finding from some recent research published on the British Psychological Society’s website. An interesting article which suggests that screen time is actually not as bad as we all think. JUST.DON’T.TELL.YOUR.KIDS.

And finally, a couple of really important articles to impress your colleagues in the team kitchen…

  • Pigs brains kept alive 4 hours after their death
  • Do you know how many bags of Skittles you need to open before you find two identical packs?

Thanks for reading, have a good one



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