2021

A world in flux — our relationship with change

The pandemic and its massive impact on every aspect of our lives for the past 18 months has been a wakeup call on change, especially that which we cannot control.   For centuries, our human ingenuity has sought to control

Better Communicating with Context

Does online interface design shape or influence how we behave online? For example, do we really behave worse than our true selves when given the option to mask our identity? When technologies that obfuscate online activities, mask identities or create

Free Speech — It’s more than just the words

On Jan 11th, 2021, Parler, the alt right social media platform, found itself turned off and homeless, as Internet giants such as Amazon, Apple and Google, all booted it from their platforms in little more than 24 hours. The decision

Rethinking Machine Learning

Machine Learning, or ML, is attributed as a natural outgrowth of the intersection of Computer Science and Statistics. Machine Learning builds on both and focuses on the question of how to get computers to program themselves from an initial structure

Hacking the Pandemic: Taiwan’s Approach

When historians write the chapter on the COVID-19 pandemic, they will have plenty of cautionary examples, except maybe Taiwan.  Taiwan may well provide the lesson in not only battling a public health crisis but also in civic engagement, innovation and

Social Media, Influence, and Democracy: Reconcilable Differences?

Did you know that about one in five US adults say they get their news primarily through social media? However, in addition to news, social media platforms have become incredibly efficient tools for spreading propaganda and disinformation credited with interference

Keeping it Real in an Information Deluge

Did you know our brains can only process about 120 Kb per second and can only do so serially? Yet every day we are deluged with 34GB of information.  We also spend close to 8 hours every day interacting with

Decision Pitfalls in a Big Data World

Data growth is a direct consequence of advances in technology ranging from the smartphone to the Internet of Things devices. Today, the “datasphere”, or the volume of data in the world – is estimated to be over 60 Zettabytes. We

Machine-Made Decisions: Consequences of Consistency

Automated algorithm-driven decision-making systems are increasingly replacing humans in areas as varied as HR hiring, loan applications, insurance brokerage and even routine medical diagnostics.  In some contexts, such as employment, decision making based on arbitrary criteria is legal, and in

The Hackable Home: Smart Devices, Dumb Security

From fitness trackers to connected cars, IoT (“Internet of Things”) devices have made our lives easier and more convenient. Despite their nifty features, many harbor poor design when it comes to security and privacy of the data they collect (and