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Studying Digital Culture, Lauren is an MSc student at LSE and writes about Big Data and AI for Digital Bucket Company. Tweet her @itslaurensdata

Power and inequality is reproduced through our algorithms. It’s a simple fact and it’s something the industry as a whole is starting to become aware of. Their design is a direct reflection of the cultural values of the designers and the company that makes them, but it also mediates and shapes the cultural practices of community engagement, in the case of online algorithms. Automated decisions are trained on cultural data, such as a diverse array of tastes from different cultures, and it ‘learns’ to predict and move in ways accustomed to that taste group’s cultural preferences.

There are numerous examples…


Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash

With increasing infiltration of data-collecting technologies in our everyday lives, data privacy is a hot topic and one with lots of contrasts in approaches. This article weighs up the reasons why we don’t have enough privacy, as well as reasons to give up our privacy for the greater good. How can solutions for regulation navigate these issues, and where do we draw the line? These are some key questions that need to be considered by the industry.

GDPR could deter solutions to Automated Bias

It is well known by now that many AI are flawed by biases, significantly disadvantaging certain groups by gender, race, religion, class and…


With the increase in globalisation, ethical principles for AI follow the same global outlook. In doing so, variations in cultural values and ideologies are being overlooked and instead AI is designed for the values of the global west. This article explores the issue of having a global standard for AI ethics and whether human morals can, or should, be reduced to principles at all.

Bias and ethics — How do we define what is and isn’t biased?

Ethics is a difficult thing to define because, despite some general rules and principles that govern our modes of behaviour as collective societies, like human rights, many ethical choices are made on a personal basis. …


Photo by Luke Michael on Unsplash

We are in an age where our news is shared with us digitally, based on our preferences. An age where Netflix shows us the most relevant films for us, and Amazon knows exactly what we want to buy next. The big data age is the age of convenience and comfort, where we don’t have to think about what we want to watch, buy or get informed about. If hearing that doesn’t already, it’s time to get uncomfortable.

Every day that passes by is another day where big technology companies get to decide what you like. With constant digital interventions into…


Do you know how AI sees you? Do you know if it discriminates against you?

Algorithms are being used as diagnosing tools in healthcare, systems for identifying potential combinations for the creation of medicines, vaccines and treatments, they assess who is most likely to commit crimes, vote conservative, get an A in their exam, or buy a new TV. The data and solutions they provide us appear to be a sophisticated intervention for driving change and making the world a safer, richer and healthier place. However, as Morozov notes in his award winning book, this tendency towards technological solutionism neglects the imperfections made by design and the consequences of these digital technologies.

Many algorithms are…


Photo by Peter Ivey-Hansen on Unsplash

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…


Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

With our ever-growing population, today there are around 2.2 billion children on the planet, which has more than doubled in the last century. But how can Santa keep up with all these wish lists?


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.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

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…


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.

Books

Fiction

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

Non-Fiction

Irresistible: Why you are addicted to…


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.

Mapping diseases

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