London’s climate action week in the summer focused on staying resilient in the actions towards preventing climate change in light of the pandemic. COP 26 President Alok Sharma stresses the urgency that we must act now, through the most recent examples of flash floods displacing thousands of people, fires destroying hundreds of thousands of acres of land, and earthquakes taking out cities. Additionally, plastic waste has surged as a result of necessary hygiene during the pandemic, at the same time as reduced rubbish collections due to workers collecting less often, or not at all, due to Covid risks.
Those most adversely affected are also those without the resources to tackle climate change, therefore it is important for less affected countries to work together. Finance, he stresses, is crucial in building a sustainable future; adapting to climate change could cost between $140-$300 billion per year by 2030. To meet net-zero targets, Sharma highlights clean energy, clean transport, and nature-based solutions as the way forward. …
Data protection laws and digital freedom of movement between the UK and the EU is going to get tricky after Jan 1st, Finn Mohrasri discusses how the UK is dealing with these important issues.
As January 1st creeps closer, the UK is continuing to legislate for changes in data privacy and regulation as they exit the EU’s GDPR framework. This is making many things, including the next two paragraphs, very complicated — so bear with me.
In a Delegated Legislation Committee last month, the Minister for Media and Data brought forward a draft amendment on Data Protection Privacy and Electronic Communications for the EU Exit Regulations 2020. While appearing highly technical and somewhat complex, it boils down to one thing: Ensuring the UK has the necessary data protection legislation in place once GDPR is revoked. In the Minister’s words, ensuring “there will be no data cliff edges”. While it may seem a little late in the day to be drafting this legislation, data has been a significant, if at times largely overlooked, part of the EU Withdrawal Agreement. GDPR will be largely retained through the EU Withdrawal Act 2018. This retention was amended in 2019 with the Data Protection Privacy and Electronic Communications Amendment, designed to ensure that “UK data protection law would continue to operate on exit day”. The most recent amendment put forward makes limited changes to the first — primarily changing exit day references to “IP completion day”. …
Here is what our team at Digital Bucket Company have been reading this month, when they seek escapism with a good novel, break-through intellect with the best non-fiction reads, and browse eye-catching headlines.
100 years of solitude — Gabriel Garcia Marquez
“100 Years of Solitude pushes the boundaries of what a novel can be. What makes it so important and captivating is how Gabriel Garcia Marquez finds and defines not only his individual identity, but the identity of a nation.”
The Magpie Society — Zoe Sugg and Amy McCulloch
Exit Music — Ian Rankin
Irresistible: Why you are addicted to technology and how to set yourself free — Adam…
In the last few blogs, I have explored the future of health in a data-driven world, from smart-devices in our home improving our everyday health, to the important of big data in the current pandemic. In my final blog on big data and health, I look at the way that science and pharmaceutical companies are using AI to develop faster, safer and more effective treatments of our biggest diseases. This has resulted in fast-tracking what would otherwise of taken years and decades of research. With AI, the future of medicine is looking bright.
Europe continues to lead the UK and US on data regulations having voted last month to develop a new legal framework outlining “the ethical and legal obligations to be followed when developing, deploying and using artificial intelligence, robotics and related technologies… including software, algorithms and data”. The key guiding principles enshrined within a new regulatory framework include:
- Human-centric and human-made AI
- Transparency and accountability
- Safeguards against bias and discrimination
- Right to redress
- Social and environmental responsibility and
- Respect for privacy and data
In addition to these principles, the EU Commission is also pushing for all high-risk AI technologies, such as “those with self-learning capabilities”, to be designed to allow for “human oversight at any time”. Legislation establishing a civil liability framework would make those operating high-risk AI strictly liable for any resulting damage. The EU Commission hopes that a “clear legal framework would stimulate innovation by providing businesses with legal certainty, whilst protecting citizens and promoting their trust in AI technologies”. The European Parliament’s work on AI is led by the Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age, established in June of this year. Its mandate stresses its aims to develop a “holistic approach providing a common, long-term position that highlights the EU’s key values and objectives relating to artificial intelligence in the digital age”. …
As we have seen, regional and national statistics have been crucial to our country’s responses to the pandemic, using data showing virus flare-ups to act fast.
It’s not been the first time that infection data has been used to promote response: Google Flu is well known for being able to identify seasonal epidemics from just what people in certain areas are searching for in Google.
But in our battle to fight the invisible enemy, we need more than case-by-case location data. Big data, that which collects data on the smaller elements of our lives, is crucial for scientific advances and building insights and knowledge that can provide a valuable strategy for winning against the virus. …
In the future, with advancements in technology available today, the walls will be watching you and implementing micro-responses to maximise your life and health in amazing ways, from making you sleep better, boosting mood when it senses you are feeling low, and working in real-time with doctors to bring you the health solutions you need. Welcome to the future of health.
This next fortnightly series will delve into the real potential for health data to maximise our lives, from personal everyday health actions, to AI that can help discover new medicines and treatments.
Health tech has moved far beyond the FitBit, which was adopted by those actively monitoring their activity rate. Today, health tech has moved into areas that touch all of our lives, for instance, emotion, and sleep. …
Finn Mohrasri explores the latest Government updates, this month exploring post-COVID-19 data and tech strategy.
Following up on last month’s policy update, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have published their National Data Strategy early, laying out their framework to “unlock the power of data for the UK”. …
Despite the many efforts to get cities around the world to become cleaner in order to tackle global warming, the often dubbed ‘floating cities’ of the cruise industry are often overlooked, guilty of producing far worse environmental damage to the world’s city harbours than the cities themselves. With the monumental goal of cutting to net-zero emissions in the near future, the cruise and ferry industry must look at big data as the crucial tool to their journey to a cleaner future.