The evolution of science fiction into science fact has become so prevalent it no longer attracts remark. Technologies that once lived only in the pages of futuristic novels or the flight deck of the USS Enterprise – like the universally connected mobile phone or DNA editing – already surround us. And, from the driverless car to delivery by drone, if they are not commonplace quite yet, surely it is only a matter of a few short years before they are? Of all these scientific transformations, the most talked about is
The buzz regarding the potential for artificial intelligence (“AI”) to revolutionise our lives is inescapable. Development of AI technology is a huge growth area, and investors are banking on an “AI boom” in everything from cybersecurity and healthcare. The capabilities and achievements of AI in some areas are certainly astonishing – self-driving cars are no longer theoretical but a reality, and AlphaGo is now arguably the strongest Go player in history. But the picture isn’t all rosy, which the Economist has recently described as a ‘Techlash’ against the digital giants.
For thousands of years, society has recorded information in ledgers, ranging from clay tablets, books through to cloud based computer systems. Despite the advance of technology, all of these ledgers have effectively been siloed with access (or “permission”) to write and read information generally being restricted. Blockchain is a new technology that flips the traditional model of a ledger upside down. Rather than have multiple separate silos, a blockchain (in its purest form) can act as a unified database that’s accessible (on a read and write basis) by everyone (it
In a thought-provoking paper presented at this year’s TPRC Research Conference on Communications, Information and Internet Policy, Internet scholar Kevin Werbach explains how the use of blockchain technology creates a new kind of trust architecture, which Werbach calls “trustless trust.” Most existing trust relationships are based on a centralized “Leviathan” trust architecture where the state or another centralized authority (for example a central bank) acts as the trusted party of last resort. Other trust architectures are fully decentralized, operating on a peer-to-peer basis. Many human relationships are based on peer-to-peer
With EY’s confirmation that growth in big data deals is running at an annual rate close to 30% coming hot on the heels of Microsoft’s $26 billion purchase of LinkedIn, the summer has seen intensification of the global dash-for-data. Underlining this increased emphasis on data-driven deals is the fact that data has firmly established itself as the primary commodity to be mined in the 21st Century. Data driven transactions are likely to define dealmaking for a generation – this in turn pose questions for business leaders and the legal and