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This category is for selected guest blogs written by students on the City, University of London Writing for Business shortcourse.

More Than Just An Assistant: Should We Be Concerned About Google Duplex?

[Note on the author: Daria Kravchenko is Group Digital Marketing Manager at Hays Recruitment. Daria is currently a student on the City, University of London Writing for Business short course which started in May 2018. She wrote this blog as part of a homework/in-class exercise on that course.]

Whether you personally are a loyal fan of virtual assistants, trusting Alexa to set your alarm and handle Amazon shopping, or a sceptic avoiding Artificial Intelligence (AI) at all costs, the fact remains that a substantial amount of global effort is going into developing technology that can interact with humans seamlessly, in the same way that we do with each other.

Despite all the technological advances, progress in this field has remained limited so far. Sure, quizzing Siri on the meaning of life can bring on some giggles, but the overall language processing capabilities of existing chatbots are far from advanced. We would never assume there’s a living and breathing person on the other end of the line, when it’s just a machine providing scripted answers in a stilted computerised voice. Right?

Well, that might have been true up until now, but it looks like things have begun to change.

A Changing of the Guard?

[Note on the author: Nick Durrant is a paraplanner and Chartered Financial Planner. Nick is currently a student on the City, University of London Writing for Business short course, which started in January 2018. This blog was created as part of a homework/in-class exercise on that course.]

Emmanuel Macron’s impressive rise to the French Presidency can, with the right mix of ingredients, be repeated elsewhere. Britain could be first.

On a cool Amiens evening in April 2016 Emmanuel Macron launched a new political movement – En Marche! – in front of a small, attentive audience. It was, he said, to be a party that was neither “of the right nor the left”, offering a new form of politics, different from the traditional parties. It worked. Thirteen months later twenty million French men and women voted him as their president.

The stratospheric rise to power of En Marche! can be dismissed as a one off event, never to be repeated in western politics. But there are signs in Britain (where two parties have provided every prime minister for 100 years) that the traditional system could also be threatened by new political movements. Five key trends show why.

Gigs and The Law: The Fall of the Gig Economy?

[Note on the author: Dan Grozdanovic is a Business Intelligence Associate at Enyo Law LLP. Dan was a student on the City, University of London Writing for Business short course in October 2017. This blog was created as part of a homework/in-class exercise on that course.]

Uber.

A powerhouse of convenience for millennials immersed in an ever-prevalent culture of demand for more affordable services delivered through the app-medium. Like many other millennials, I was distraught when Transport for London decided not to renew its licence to operate in the city for my own selfish reasons: having to resort to the dark ages of hailing expensive black cabs, or worse, taking public transport in the early hours with my fellow passengers spreading their three-course McDonald’s meal over the backseats of a double-decker bus.

We expect cheap cab fares to be a 21st century consumer right (a human right if you ask others) but we often forget about the employment rights of fellow millennials – it is estimated that approximately 50% of the Gig Economy’s workers are under the age of 35 – providing these services, or ‘gigs’.