The fifth Data Science Insights talk, chaired by Axel Threlfall, Reuters Editor at Large, took place at Imperial College London, and featured Jerry Kaplan, entrepreneur, author and futurist. This post was written by Ti Maja, Manager, Corporate Compliance.
2015 could be classed as the year the artificial intelligence (A.I.) alarm started ringing. Stephen Hawking prophesied A.I could “spell the end of the human race.” Elon Musk hazarded that “with artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon.” Sir Clive Sinclair declared artificial intelligence will doom mankind.
So are we staring Skynet in the face? Are we doomed to be batteries in the Matrix? Are the incoming Amazon Prime Drone deliveries really a signifier of the human vs. machine battle to come? The future according to Stanford Legal Informatics CodeX fellow, entrepreneur, technical innovator, bestselling author and futurist Jerry Kaplan is a little bit less farfetched and potentially a lot more golden. (more…)
This is my fifth year of working with the UK-based Apps for Good program, and it’s incredible to see how the program has grown from a handful of schools and perhaps a hundred or so kids to hundreds of schools and tens of thousands of students taking part just a few short years later. The evolution has been fun to watch, with many significant lessons learned.
- When I first was asked to serve as an ambassador for the London Tech City project, I worked with the British government to help revise the school ICT curriculum. Within three years, we saw a complete overhaul in England, so now, every child entering school today will know how to program in at least two languages by the time they are 11! Again…what were you doing at 11?
In the first of a new series of EntrepreursTalk@Cass, Jeff Lynn, one of Business Insider’s 50 coolest people in UK tech, spoke about the power of putting investment opportunities into the hands of the masses – crowdfunding.
Shaping a new market
Seedrs was the first equity-based crowdfunding platform in the world to receive regulatory approval from the Financial Services Authority. Now, three years after launch, the company which started life as CEO Jeff Lynn’s MBA project is no longer a niche business but part of the financial mainstream. They’re approaching 300 deals done, all the way from £30k to multi-million, from high tech businesses to theatre productions.
As Jeff explained, crowdfunding can be split into three main types, all constructed around the main concept that any platform is acting as an intermediary for an individual or organization to raise finance. Rewards based platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer some non-monetary reward in exchange for your cash, such as the first release of a new product, and they provide an additional advantage by proving to would-be investors that there is market demand for whatever you’re trying to sell. Kano, the build-your-own computer company, spoke at an earlier Cass talk about the benefit they gained had from Kickstarter, particularly in securing VC investment.
A few posts ago, I wrote about the impact of the ‘Findustrial Revolution’ on the financial community. According to McKinsey, there are now 20,000 FinTech companies in New York and London alone.
This seems to be driven by a confluence of events: tougher regulation, massive pressure on cost, newer technologies and thousands of technologists leaving the incumbent banks full of ideas, money and time to disrupt the old model.
Do regulators control or encourage these changes? Does innovation make the financial system better and safer, or more risky?
Several governments are making concerted efforts to attract and encourage more of this activity in their countries, with the UK, US, Israel and Japan leading the charge.
The ‘Findustrial Revolution’ is no longer a question of ‘if’ but a question of ‘when and how.’ (more…)
In the latest in a series of collaborations with external organizations (such as with IBM Watson, Samsung, and our Thomson Reuters Labs – Waterloo Region), we have recently announced a sponsorship and investment in Fluent, a financial technology start-up that offers a cloud-based financial transaction network.
Fluent enables real-time, low-cost, simple and secure invoicing and payments along global supply chains via blockchain technology.
The use of blockchain technology and bitcoin, or digital currency for financial transactions online, is relatively new. Bitcoin provides real-time, instant payment in the cloud versus the traditional transaction payment methods through banks or other institutions that can take up to three days.
Bitcoin uses cryptography to provide a virtual, secure payment method that bypasses central authorities like banks and international borders. Blockchain technology is the virtual “ledger” that manages bitcoin transfers, providing faster and more secure payments over the cloud. While there’s some debate around its use, many businesses and companies are exploring the use of digital currency and blockchain technology.
This partnership with Fluent bolsters our efforts to explore the potential of bitcoin and blockchain technology for our products and customers. Scott Manuel, head of Product Management & Delivery, Advanced Product Innovation, tells us more: (more…)
Trust is at the heart of being open
Trust is a core value for Thomson Reuters. We don’t say this just because it sounds good, it’s something that is baked deep into our culture. The Trust Principles were established in 1941 in the midst of the Second World War as an obligation for employees ‘to act at all times with integrity, independence and freedom from bias.’
This year’s Open Data Institute Summit was for Generation Open, the ‘innovators and entrepreneurs, customers and citizens, students and parents who embrace network thinking.’ For us at Thomson Reuters, this feels a natural fit. Trust is at the heart of being open, and we really value our partnership with the ODI and the work they are doing to champion open data, which supports our own work in this area. (more…)
How will we feed 9 billion people in 2050? If we are to meet the hungry demands of our future, we need a revolution in the way we produce and deliver food. Here’s an excerpt from our 9 Billion Bowls multimedia report, which tells the story of a diverse group of scientists, students, analysts and inventors who are using Big Data and leading edge technologies in entirely new ways to make this happen. Access the full report at 9billionbowls.com.
In a warehouse in Portage, Indiana, entrepreneur and earth scientist Robert Colangelo is literally taking this idea to the next level, with an indoor vertical farm. It uses one-tenth the land of a traditional farm and produces 26 harvests per year.
Green Sense Farms is built on 30,000 square feet of warehouse space where Colangelo and his team grow non-genetically modified lettuces and herbs without using pesticides, herbicides, sunlight, soil or rain.
In the Data Innovation Lab, we’re proud to lead and champion engagement with top universities globally. We believe that engaging with universities, and the innovation ecosystems around them, is fundamentally important to help us deliver future value to our customers, as well as creating partnerships that help grow and develop more new ideas in those locations for wider benefit. For example: Our Legal business has established the Legal Tech Open Innovation Challenge through its partnership with CodeX – the Stanford Center for Legal Informatics; We are a founding member of bigdata@CSAIL at MIT and this directly led to our early engagement and investment in Tamr, an MIT spin-out.
We’re really excited as part of our activities in Waterloo Region to be starting a new collaborative research project at the University of Waterloo with Professor Ihab Ilyas, one of the co-founders of Tamr. Collaborating with teams in Thomson Reuters working on big data projects, as well as staff from Thomson Reuters Labs in Waterloo, the research will create algorithms to highlight anomalies in enterprise data sets, improving data quality. More information on that can be found here. (more…)