Both sides of the crime


Doesn’t time go fast when you are enjoying yourself. I can’t believe that Thinking Digital has come and gone again for another year. It is such a good event that I end up buying my tickets for next year the day they go on sale. I always get a few blogs out of it as well. It’s a win win and I am eternally grateful to Herb Kim for putting it one for now its twelfth year.

As always there were some great speakers, too many to mention. My twitter fingers were steaming and I was only saved by going up to speak at Newcastle Startup week before coming back down to the Sage again.

To get us underway we had two speakers who talked about two sides of crime, at least in my opinion. Jamie Bartlett spoke about Cambridge Analytica and their activities that have turned our election process on its head, while Simona Francese showed us how laser technologies are helping to glean much more useful information out of fingerprints.

When I was at the National Innovation Centre for Ageing the other day, someone asked me if digital was evil. Of course the answer was no, digital technologies in themselves are neither good or bad, they just are and these two task showed what I meant.

Data mining can be used for many good things but being used to manipulate the outcome of a democratic process is not one of them. On the other hand technology is delving deep into helping solve crime by using the trace chemicals that people leave behind them.

Technology is changing the world very rapidly, in ways that we cannot begin to imagine. It is easy to despair about where it is taking us but I have faith that in the end the good uses of technology will outperform the bad. Perhaps I am just the optimist but as long as there have been humans there have been bad people and good. Bad people will use technology for the aims and good people will use technology to try and prevent the or catch them.

Thinking digital shows that there are more good people out there than bad, or is that just the circles I move in.

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