COVID-19 and the use of data and technology - insights from a PhD student

COVID-19 is a pressing issue facing humanity. Against that backdrop, we wanted to explore the appropriate use of data and technology. To do that, we had a conversation with Ali Farzanehfar – a final year PhD student at Imperial College London. Ali’s research and interests are currently split between issues in data privacy and the impact of AI on industry. Full bio here.

COVID-19 - surveillance and the need to stay vigilant

The pandemic is a ‘threat’ to us currently. But it could be used as an excuse to create a more significant threat in our future – a threat to our freedom and privacy. We must be mindful and stay vigilant that we don’t allow the current crisis to dupe us into a dystopian future. Watch a clip to highlight the issues and the ensuing discussion.

A Discussion on Data, Privacy & Ownership

People were up in arms when they found out about the Cambridge Analytica / Facebook debacle. Yet too many people have a lackadaisical attitude towards data and privacy. We believe we are morally obligated to ensure we do not create a future that is unpalatable for future generations. We took the debate to Linkedin and an interesting discussion unfolded. 

Discussion on Artificial Intelligence & Intellectual Property

 A recent article in Technology Review posed the question of whether AI can be an inventor. In principle, it’s a debate around IP law and whether AI can own ideas it generates. We posed the question on LinkedIn, where we had a range of perspectives ranging from lawyers to PhD students researching related subjects. It’s worth a read. Additional views always welcome.

Rethinking How We Frame Entrepreneurial Success Stories

We often hear ‘it’s a great company, they’ve raised $x’. We have long held the view this is the wrong metric, and recent disasters (e.g. WeWork, Uber and Theranos) have confirmed this. We thought it was time to peel back the layers on venture investing and what we should be looking at. Here is the article featured in Entrepreneur Middle East.

A Closer Look at MENA Startups (2019)

MAGNiTT and 500 Startups produced a report on the startup scene in the MENA Region. Identifying and tackling the root causes, NOT merely high-level stats, is essential for a thriving and sustainable ecosystem. We peel back the layers on some of the issues raised, including a deeper dive into the real problems around talent, how success is being measured and the criteria to choose the right investors.

3 Skills You Need to Hack the Hype in Tech Investing

We have witnessed some really bad projects (and founders) getting funded. This is a problem for three reasons: good capital is being burned, impacts available capital for worthy founders and promising applications of technology, the wrong thinking around technology can have dire consequences (remember Cambridge Analytica and Theranos?)

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