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
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
There was an article in the Guardian this week about supermarkets selling "wonky" fruit during the current drought. It got me thinking about how our perceptions of what is good, normal or acceptable get shaped by decisions made by others. This lead me down a bit of a rabbit-hole reading about cosmetic standards for fruit … Continue reading Wonky fruit and data standards
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
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
There's a lot of work happening around data governance that involves piloting and testing new approaches. A few years ago the ODI piloted some data trusts. The Data Trust Initiative is running three pilots. The ODI has also been running a peer learning network as part of its data institutions programme to support a variety … Continue reading Role playing data governance
I've been doing some research around different types of data intermediary recently and thought I'd share some things I've learned about "Data Unions". Like a lot of the terms being applied to new approaches to data governance, there's no clear definition of what constitutes a data union. A vision of collective action For example, this … Continue reading What are Data Unions?
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
How do we create well-designed, trustworthy, sustainable data infrastructure and institutions? This is a question that I remain deeply interested in. Much of the freelance work I've been doing since leaving the ODI has been in that area. For example, I'm currently helping with a multi-year evaluation of an grant-funded data institution. I'm particularly interested … Continue reading Assessing data infrastructure: the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure
I've been reading about different approaches to watermarking AI and the datasets used to train them. This seems to be an active area of research within the machine learning community. But, of the papers I've looked at so far, there hasn't been much discussion of how these techniques might be applied and what groundwork needs … Continue reading How could watermarking AI help build trust?