blue robot

The Case For Humanism In Tech

At the end of 2016, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) issued the first draft of a handbook entitled Ethically Aligned Design. The 138-page document provides guidelines for "prioritizing human wellbeing" in the development and implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Autonomous Systems (AS). I'm sure we all agree that a people-centred approach…

Why Following People On Twitter Is Broken (And What To Do About It)

Most social media products rely on the 'friend or follow' model of connecting to other people. Friending usually means a two-way connection, whereas following is most often a one-way connection. Friending is inherently a strong connection, because it mimics how we operate in real life - friends socialize and share things together. But just how useful is it to have a follow connection with someone? I'm going…

Emerging Markets: Social VR

The virtual world Second Life launched in mid-2003 and from the start it was out of place. Its jerky and cartoonish graphics seemed to belong more to the 1990s than to the new era of social software. Nevertheless, Second Life enjoyed as much media attention in the 2000s as Web 2.0 darlings like Flickr and YouTube. Nowadays, in the…

What Apple Watch Means For Trackers

This morning Apple announced its much anticipated smartwatch, called Apple Watch. It will be released "early 2015," which I'm thrilled to say is also when my book about self-tracking will be released! My book, entitled Trackers: How Technology Is Helping Us Monitor & Improve Our Health, is about how technology is fundamentally changing how we track our daily health…

The Quantified Doctor

My first book, due out January 2015, is about the Quantified Self movement. It's called Trackers: How Technology Is Helping Us Monitor & Improve Our Health. One of the chapters is about a doctor who encourages her patients to use self-tracking tools, such as Fitbit or MyFitnessPal. Well now there's a self-tracking company that caters…

Thoughts On 23andMe & The FDA

This week the world of consumer health technology got a rude shock, when the FDA warned personal genomics company 23andMe that its marketing was in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act). The FDA seemed most concerned about the potential for 23andMe customers to misread their DNA results and take unnecessary or…