Algorithms lie at the heart of machine learning, which, in turn lies at the heart of much of modern life–from online shopping to intelligence gathering. But most of us know little about these powerful tools and how they work. Is this wise?
Over the last few years there has been increased interest among start-ups in using Internet-based platforms to crowdsource a wide variety of resources, including funding, labour, design and ideas. Does this approach work?
Code is the next universal language. In the 1970s punk rock drove a whole generation. In the 1980s it was probably money. For my generation, the interface to our imagination and to our world is software. This is why we need to get a more diverse set of people to see computers not as boring, mechanical and lonely things, but as something they can poke, tinker with and turn around.
The UK’s tallest mountain is Ben Nevis in Scotland. Recently, it became one metre taller, standing now at 1 345m rather than 1 344m above sea level. Of course, the mountain did not actually grow. Rather, the team of Ordnance Survey experts who re-measured it for the first time since 1949 were able to do so more accurately because of improvements in technology, and specifically through the use of GPS.
Countries should modernise their consumer protection laws to address new risks posed by online commerce, including “free” apps and peer-to-peer Internet transactions, according to new OECD guidelines for member countries and emerging economies.
Mobile broadband penetration in the OECD area has risen to 90.3%, meaning more than nine high-speed wireless Internet subscriptions for every 10 inhabitants, according to data for December 2015 released by the OECD today. The penetration rate was 81.6% in December 2014.
Strategically managing crises is an essential responsibility of governments. Often critical decisions need to be made swiftly under difficult and complex conditions, as crises’ impacts may spread beyond national borders and can trigger significant economic, social and environmental knock-on effects. Governments have a significant role to play in strengthening the resilience of their populations, communities and critical infrastructure networks. This report highlights the changing landscape of crises that governments are confronted with today. It discusses new approaches to deal with both traditional and new kinds of crises, and invites reflection on how best governments can adapt to change. Topics covered include capacity for early warning and “sense-making”, crisis communication and the role of social media, as well as strategic crisis management exercises. Finally, the review proposes practical policy guidance for strategic crisis management.
Today, the generation and use of huge volumes of data are redefining our “intelligence” capacity and our social and economic landscapes, spurring new industries, processes and products, and creating significant competitive advantages. In this sense, data-driven innovation (DDI) has become a key pillar of 21st-century growth, with the potential to significantly enhance productivity, resource efficiency, economic competitiveness, and social well-being.
Greater access to and use of data create a wide array of impacts and policy challenges, ranging from privacy and consumer protection to open access issues and measurement concerns, across public and private health, legal and science domains. This report aims to improve the evidence base on the role of DDI for promoting growth and well-being, and provide policy guidance on how to maximise the benefits of DDI and mitigate the associated economic and societal risks.
Digital security risk should be treated as an economic rather than a technical issue, and should be part of an organisation’s overall risk management and decision-making, according to a new OECD Recommendation to member countries.
Schools have yet to take advantage of the potential of technology in the classroom to tackle the digital divide and give every student the skills they need in today’s connected world, according to the first OECD PISA assessment of digital skills.