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Data for good, data for bad: technology and innovation in 2019 | Brand and digital innovation | Brand Breakfast | 14 Feb 2019

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Olivier Usher,  research manager for technology and innovation in the Challenge Prize Centre, Nesta

Visit the CharityComms website to view slides from past events, see what events we have coming up and to check out what else we do: www.charitycomms.org.uk

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Data for good, data for bad: technology and innovation in 2019 | Brand and digital innovation | Brand Breakfast | 14 Feb 2019

  1. 1. Data for good data for bad Technology and innovation in 2019 Olivier Usher Research Manager @ojusher
  2. 2. Credit: OpenStreetMap
  3. 3. Credit: OpenStreetMap Bihar is a backwater in India. Far from Delhi, far from Mumbai, far from Calcutta. It’s a large and poorly-developed region that fills the broad plains along the river Ganges, just south of Nepal.
  4. 4. Credit: OpenStreetMap But while it might be a backwater, where the stunning growth of India’s economy isn’t obvious to see, it’s far from a small place. It’s two thirds the size of England, with twice the population.
  5. 5. l Muzzarfarpur l PATNA l Darbhanga And stunningly, though there are some cities, the vast majority, almost 90%, live in rural areas.
  6. 6. l Muzzarfarpur l PATNA l Darbhanga A few hours northeast of Patna, the state capital, a backwater of a backwater: the town of Dharbanga. There are lots of fish.
  7. 7. 5:00
  8. 8. Credit: Nesta Dharbanga has a major wholesale fish market. It looks quite basic. Hygiene – isn’t great. Refrigeration comes from sacks of crushed ice. Heaps of fish lie on tarpaulins. Wads of cash change hands. In fact, aside from the polystyrene insulating boxes everywhere, you might think that not much has changed here in centuries. But you would be wrong.
  9. 9. Credit: Nesta Fish farming is a pretty recent innovation – it’s only been a major source of food worldwide for about 50 years. And while some of the fish in that market comes from nearby farms like this one, the industry is far more connected and high-tech than its appearance suggests.
  10. 10. Credit: Nesta For actually most of it comes from over 1000 kilometres south, in the warm, coastal wetland plains east of Hyderabad. Clamber to the roof of a building here in this low, flat expanse, and the ponds extend as far as the eye can see. Modern, intensive, scientifically managed food production.
  11. 11. And it’s a pattern that we’ve seen again and again in food production and indeed many other sectors. Social need – people willing to innovate; combined with improved logistics and technology – often digital tech – leading to some of the impressive development gains the world has seen in recent decades.
  12. 12. Credit: OpenStreetMap And so while the most important link to the fish market in Dharbanga comes by truck from the south; ideas, technologies and trade from all over the world come into play.
  13. 13. Data and mobile connectivity drive social and economic change
  14. 14. Social and economic change drive data and mobile connectivity
  15. 15. Credit: Pexels/Gov.uk In the UK public sector, where datasets are now openly shared – and free to use for innovators to use as they wish.
  16. 16. Credit: ESA, Human Genome Project In science, where multinational projects from the vastness of space to the individual genes inside our cells are based on public, shared datasets.
  17. 17. Credit: Nesta In Nepal, where data-driven tools now help farmers increase their yield – thanks to smart, AI-driven recommendations.
  18. 18. Credit: Nesta And data is making inroads for good in less obvious places. Our Longitude Prize focuses on tests that reduce the need for antibiotics.
  19. 19. Credit: Nesta We’re working on how legal services can be automated, bringing greater access to justice.
  20. 20. Credit: Nesta And even in banking – where customers now have more control over their personal financial data, thanks to Open Banking.
  21. 21. And yet Credit: ILYA for Nesta
  22. 22. Credit: smoothgroover22/Flickr Self driving vehicles could be a democratising force, but the early signs from manufacturers are worrying. Secrecy, in particular, over the data they gather and over the incidents they face, and how their programming makes them behave, should set warning lights flashing for us all.
  23. 23. Credit: Nesta There’s growing public disquiet about algorithms and machine learning – sometimes as trivial as wanting to know when we’re talking to a chatbot, but often far more serious: recruiting decisions or mortgage approvals done by software, with little right of redress.
  24. 24. Sometimes it’s not just our data that’s manipulated but even our emotions and judgement.
  25. 25. And when our judgement is manipulated, so is our democracy. The scandal of Cambridge Analytica in the US – as well as worrying data-driven electoral practice across the world, including the UK, are maybe the starkest warning yet of the power that tech can have when used without ethics.
  26. 26. Technology is not neutral.
  27. 27. The decisions we make The services we build The designs we create Reflect our values and purpose
  28. 28. nesta.org.uk @nesta_uk Olivier Usher Research Manager olivier.usher@nesta.org.uk | @ojusher
  29. 29. #brandfast Brand Breakfast 14 February 2019 Brand and digital innovation Sponsored by
  30. 30. Visit the CharityComms website to view slides from past events, see what events we have coming up and to check out what else we do: www.charitycomms.org.uk

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