It’s just a spreadsheet, but it’s still data infrastructure

I've found my new favourite example of a well documented, tiny slice of data infrastructure. I'm going to hazard a guess that it's probably the simplest dataset that is designated as national statistics. If you can think of one simpler, then let me know. It's the weekly road fuel prices data on gov.uk. This data … Continue reading It’s just a spreadsheet, but it’s still data infrastructure

Notice of plans to erect…another big database

This privacy notice went past in my twitter stream earlier. It announces that the UK government is planning to create a new database that will some quite detailed data about every electricity meter in the UK. In particular it'll combine together information about the meter, the energy consumption and billing details associated with that energy … Continue reading Notice of plans to erect…another big database

The data ecosystem for non-domestic energy consumption data in the UK

Since joining Energy Sparks I've started investing time in trying to understanding the UK energy system and, in particular, the parts of its data infrastructure and broader ecosystem that we work with. It's a big, complex system so lots to wrap my head around. I looked at one part of that data ecosystem in a … Continue reading The data ecosystem for non-domestic energy consumption data in the UK

Behavioural use licensing won’t fix the negative impacts of AI

I recently read a paper called "Behavioral Use Licensing for Responsible AI" in which the authors make a case that licences can be used to create a legally enforceable way to limit the ways in which AI can be used, and in particular in-line with response AI guidelines. Here's the abstract: With the growing reliance … Continue reading Behavioural use licensing won’t fix the negative impacts of AI

A commons needs more than open licensing

When I look across the various "open" communities in which I either participate in or monitor, there's a lot of recurring issues. For example, sustainability is a common issue across open data, open source and open science. How do we ensure sustainable access to data? How do we make individual open source projects sustainable when … Continue reading A commons needs more than open licensing

We need the right data institutions

Popular Science have recently published three pieces of speculative fiction exploring the question of "will 'we the people' benefit from our data?". They're called "Shared data", "The Memory of Tomatoes" and "Home@Heart". Each of the pieces of fiction is followed up a response from a policy expert. I read the first of these this morning. … Continue reading We need the right data institutions

Assessing data infrastructure: the Digital Public Goods standard and registry

This is the second in a short series of posts in which I'm sharing my notes and thoughts on a variety of different approaches for assessing data infrastructure and data institutions. The first post in the series looked at The Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure. In this post I want to take a look at … Continue reading Assessing data infrastructure: the Digital Public Goods standard and registry