loader from loading.io

Machine learning and augmented intelligence; platforms as publishers; and the fake news debate continues

Small Data Forum Podcast

Release Date: 05/25/2017

We would have recorded you a shorter podcast … show art We would have recorded you a shorter podcast …

Small Data Forum Podcast

that French mathematician Blaise Pascal, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, and Winston Churchill all said: “I would have written you a shorter letter, I just didn’t have the time.” They may all have originated that sentiment, some may have quoted others, or all the attributions could be faulty. How to know? How to sift through the unmediated ? A similar predicament faced we three hosts of the Small Data Forum podcast as we gathered for our latest – and thirty-fifth – instalment of this semi-structured ramble-chat through the uses and abuses of data big and SMALL in politics, business, and...

info_outline
“If broadband goes down, we’re all screwed” show art “If broadband goes down, we’re all screwed”

Small Data Forum Podcast

For all the disruption that the lockdown has brought to the nation (if not the world), for the cast of the SmallDataForum, little has changed in the way we work: most of our 34 episodes were recorded (with a bit of Whereby here and there). Sam is still delivering training on data storytelling and insightful thinking, just now with participants on screen. Neville has been commuting the few meters to the home office for years, and I’m not at all missing the occasional trips to a London WeWork office – video calls do the job just as well. And isn’t the fall of WeWork and the rise of Zoom...

info_outline
Convolvulus, Coronavirus & the Thomas theorem, or when stuff gets real show art Convolvulus, Coronavirus & the Thomas theorem, or when stuff gets real

Small Data Forum Podcast

“If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequence”. This little known sociological formula from the late 1920s, known as the Thomas Theorem after husband-and-wife research team (I wish I could claim a level of ownership but no), helps us understand how and why the perception and interpretation of events determine the impact of such events in a media world. And it’s not hard to see why there might be a problem when ‘situations’ arise from mis- and dis-information. For almost four years now, the SmallDataForum has been mulling over, musing on and opining about the...

info_outline
When Henry VIII met Dr Strangelove show art When Henry VIII met Dr Strangelove

Small Data Forum Podcast

If historical analogies provide the measure of a man, then Downing Street henchman-in-chief, lead iconoclast and perpetual ideas recyclist “Classic Dom” Cummings is doing a spectacularly good job. He has been likened to everyone in the “Who’s Who?” of strategy, warfare and statesmanship, from , to “”, alternatively , or in fact . As for Prime Minister Johnson, a recent  depicts him as , the god of time, transitions, beginnings and endings. Our classicist-in-residence, Sam, will have particularly enjoyed the perspective of how young Boris got framed...

info_outline
More C-3PO and BB-8 than GDPR and CCPA, and definitely NSFW show art More C-3PO and BB-8 than GDPR and CCPA, and definitely NSFW

Small Data Forum Podcast

Five days after voting ended in the UK General Election, Thomas Stoeckle, Neville Hobson and Sam Knowles joined in live conversation recorded in London. We continue our conversation about the state of the UK informed somewhat by the outcome of #GE2019 where we have moved onward from the hung Parliament territory of the 2017 General Election to a government with a healthy majority. Our wide-ranging discussion started with our assessment of the 2019 election outcome, our opinions on the catastrophic situation the Labour Party now finds itself in, who might success Jeremy Corbin and what the way...

info_outline
Of Giants and Donkeys show art Of Giants and Donkeys

Small Data Forum Podcast

According to the Sunday Times, the pending General Election will be “” (paywall) – between Dominic Cummings and Seamus Milne. Unsurprisingly, Brexit limbo and was THE theme for the SmallDataForum as we recorded episode 30 on All Hallows Day 2019, otherwise known as #NoBrexitDay. And since the PM whisperer has so much more of a public profile than his equivalent for the leader of Her Majesty’s opposition, it was Dominic “Machiavelli” Cummings, rather than the (paywall) behind Jeremy Corbyn, who enjoyed our full attention. Or at least mine. Continue reading -> 

info_outline
Back to the Future show art Back to the Future

Small Data Forum Podcast

When Rome teetered on the brink of democratic collapse in the first century BCE, as it prepared – unknowingly – to move from a form of notional democracy to imperial rule, three men came together to save the ever-expanding city state and advance their political careers. Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus – the swashbuckler, the strategist, and the finance guy – effectively took power under emergency measures. Known collectively as the First Triumvirate, they made mistakes along the way, and were all – eventually – stabbed in either the front or the back. And as we live today in...

info_outline
Summertime Special show art Summertime Special

Small Data Forum Podcast

In England’s distant past, long before the spread of wealth and the explosive growth of the middle classes, holidays were a rarity. Overseas holidays were unheard of, except for those gilded few who’d grown fat on the Empire and took a ‘grand tour’ of Europe for months at a time, or else went off to add new lands to said Empire.The closest most workers got to any kind of holiday was being taken in a charabanc to the nearest seaside resort, where enforced fun would be had on piers stretching out into coastal waters. One of the highlights of such a visit would be an end-of-the-pier show,...

info_outline
When April Fool's meets Groundhog Day show art When April Fool's meets Groundhog Day

Small Data Forum Podcast

So this is the episode when the three stooges of the SmallDataForum were meant to reflect wistfully on what was Great Britain exiting Greater Europe. The irony of recording this on April Fool’s Day wasn’t lost on us. Brexit Fool’s day is every day, these days. Our resident classicist Sam even managed to squeeze in Juvenal’s Satire VI, and even though the reference was in regard to another April Fool’s – Facebook regulation, haha – Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes might just as well mean “who regulates the regulators?” Ah – wouldn’t that be The Great British Electorate? Well,...

info_outline
To regulate, or not to regulate, that is the question… show art To regulate, or not to regulate, that is the question…

Small Data Forum Podcast

"We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.“ So the famous US Supreme Court Justice and ‘crusader for social justice’ and breaker-upper of Gilded Age monopolies, is said to have said, . Today, perhaps the best-known anti-trust advocate is Tim Wu, Columbia law professor, ‘’ and author of a series of books likening today’s commercial excesses – in particular in the digital space – to the ‘Gilded Age’ of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In our latest discussion about Facebook, GDPR and...

info_outline
 
More Episodes

SDF episode 9 discusses the challenges and opportunities of accelerating progress in the areas of machine learning and AI (which for us means augmented, rather than 'just' artificial intelligence). When it comes to permanent change driven by technological advancement, the genie is out of the bottle and it is too late to resist change. We need to get better at understanding it and living with it. 

Another key subject are the big social media platforms and their roles as pure technological intermediaries, as opposed to taking on the responsibilities of publishers. This is a complex and controversial field, with a broad range of opinions. Robert Thompson, CEO of News Corp. and former editor of The Times, published a strongly worded editorial in the Times on 10th April where he claimed that "the two most powerful news publishers in human history have created an ecosystem that is dysfunctional and socially destructive". He calls for Authenticated Authenticity – verified provenance, accuracy, reality – as an asset of increasing value. 

Our general, rather broad advice is to question everything. More specifically, seek out sources with a proven track record that you can trust, with authors that link to things they state – to allow verification