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Innovation Blog


What’s New In Corporate Innovation


Could Blockchain Technology Help Avoid Another Cambridge Analytica?

When you nestle up on the sofa and log into your favourite social media account or do a bit of online shopping are you aware, REALLY aware, how your data is being accessed and used, and by whom? Facebook, for example, generates tens of billions of dollars (and growing) a year in revenues from advertisers looking to use your highly targeted data, based on your social habits, hobbies, preferences etc. to sell their products and services. How can we, as users, be sure that our very personal information is being handled ethically and securely? This is where the Blockchain may prove useful.

A Blockchain is a decentralised, public, self-auditing data management system with no single point of entry and thus no single point of failure. A raft of startups are exploring ways to establish a platform for a far more transparent and accountable use of data, with the potential to shift control of personal data back to the user. These efforts can be grouped into several blockchain-based strategies, from user-controlled identity (in which each of us “owns” our online identity and data portability), to identity attestation (in which a trusted, public service could verify identity, like online passports or drivers licenses).

Despite the promise, there are serious obstacles to widespread implementation. On the one hand, there are powerful vested interests – governments and corporations, mostly – who don’t want to lose control over identity management, and don’t necessarily trust individuals to manage their own digital safety consistently. On the other hand there’s user apathy. In other words, for most of us, these concerns may not matter enough to invest proactive time and energy toward securing and managing one’s online identity. Which means society may be stuck on the same track we’re already on, despite the promise of blockchain technology. Only time will tell…

Google’s DeepMind Has An Idea For Stopping Biased AI

In our last blog we published a human-interest story focussing on UK based start-up DeepMind, one of the world’s leading AI firms, recently acquired by Google. This follow-on article explores their research and investigations into the bias that affects even cutting-edge AI thinking and how such prejudices as race and gender can be eradicated, or at least reduced, through changes to thinking and programming. Although machine learning is already part of our everyday lives, and new developments are creating an incredibly exciting future, AI is ultimately the result of human programming, and human-generated learning sets. Humans are imperfect, and those imperfections are still permeating the very fabric of AI.

To resolve this issue and for AI to add the value it promises, it will take not only the greatest technological minds, but also contributions fields such as biology, psychology, law, and business. Coordination among these disciplines is no small task, but may be crucial to reap the full benefits of AI and machine learning.

Advanced Social Technologies And The Future Of Collaboration

How much value does your company put on utilizing social technologies to improve communications within the business? Will the rise in the use of those technologies result in reduced reliance on more ‘traditional’ methods of communication such as email, text, and phone? McKinsey examines the rising usage of message-based social technologies and their effect on the use of older contact methods which have been the bedrock of communication, project management, and general workplace interaction for many years. The research, which looks at more than ten years of changing trends, shows amongst other things, a significant shift away from the use of phone and to some degree ‘die-hards’ like email towards, primarily, message-based platforms.

This shift is being credited with increased efficiency in the way projects are run; providing deeper and more effective collaboration between team members; increasing the speed of response and action – and even improving the access the team has to senior members with multiple project responsibilities – which can now be literally anywhere at any time.


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