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Advice from a machine learning specialist: think about the ethics

 ‘Despite all the hype, machine learning is not a be-all and end-all solution. We still need social scientists if we are going to use machine learning to study social phenomena in a responsible and ethical manner.’

 

I came across this quote in an article in Communications of the ACM[1][2] by machine learning specialist Hanna Wallach. The article is called ‘Computational Social Science ≠Computer Science+ Social Data’.

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Safeguard Your Files Against Ransomware

 

At Susan Bell Research our clients increasingly ask how secure our systems are. Can we encrypt data? Yes we can. Do we have a risk management policy? Yes we do. We are lucky that we have our own IT Security specialist 'on staff'. Les Bell, Adjunct Lecturer in Cryptography and Information Security at Macquarie University and member of the Optus Macquarie University Cyber Security Hub, has written this piece about how to protect ourselves from what is probably the biggest cyber security threat faced by small and medium enterprises in Australia: ransomware.

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Qualitative Analysis Skills: A Primer Part 1

What does it mean to have an ‘analysis plan’ for qualitative research?

When you have an analysis plan you know who will do what and how you are going to deal with the information.

  • If you have several researchers working on a project, is everyone going to analyse their own interviews or groups independently or will you delegate it all to one person?  
  • Whether you are going to share the task, or if you are doing it all yourself, you need to know the answers  to questions like these

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Going back to 1997 - Behavioural Economics and us

In 1997, I bought a book called 'Research on Judgement and Decision Making: currents, connections, and controversies' edited by Goldstein and Hogarth. It was here that I first came across Kahneman and Tversky and their work on such things as representativeness heuristic. I was hooked. I think my favourite piece was one on 'arguing with yourself', because it is something I do often!

I was working on insurance projects at the time, trying to figure out why some people saw risks, where everyone else saw opportunity. I used many of the insights I learned here with my clients, but did not make them public.

Twenty or more years later, I still find this whole field fascinating, but I am also frustrated.

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Getting the most out of Behavioural Economics in Qualitative Research

Are you considering using qualitative research for strategic positioning, brand development, or customer experience projects? Do you also want to use the insights you have learnt from Behavioural Economics  (B.E.) but worry whether B.E. is compatible with qualitative research?  

Perhaps you have heard people say that qualitative research isn’t useful because ‘people don’t know why they do things’ for example, which has led some people to conduct research only about behaviour and not about what motivates people to behave as they do, or about how people think.

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