Author: Michael Upshall Page 2 of 3

New Trends in Information Retrieval

This year’s annual European Conference on Information Retrieval (Cologne, April 2019) was remarkable for me in that it showed a dramatic renaissance of the world of search. Conferences labelled “enterprise search” have been running down or closing in the UK and the US for several …

UKSG 2019: what are scholarly conferences for?

From the picture above, UKSG looks like any other conference. Yet it remains something of an oddball, the odd man out of conferences. It is a large event – several hundred attendees, which means it is always held in a large-scale venue that is usually …

Netflop: the failure of Netflix

The Netflix home screen. Each time you open Netflix you are shown a suggested film. I’ve never heard of Lionheart and I didn’t want to watch it. Imagine Google always opening with a suggested page for you!

Difficult to imagine a company growing as fast …

The STM Innovations Day (London, December 2018)

What were the innovations that emerged from the STM Innovations Day? Well, there weren’t any robots on display. This annual event is an excellent opportunity to take stock of academic publishing and its current concerns, although as we shall see below, some of the real …

Books of the Year 2018

This is the time of year when the newspapers announce their books of the year. Unfortunately, the reviewers often praise each other’s books, or simply state they couldn’t put it down, without explaining why. Things are a bit different here; every one of the books …

Weapons of Math Destruction: more math please

The full title of this book is Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, which sums up the book, certainly, and at the same time the author’s  approach. In practice she is less concerned about the math, more about …

Is there such a thing as Digital Humanities? 

At this year’s ALPSP annual conference (Windsor, October 2018), there was an entertaining session called “What’s New in Digital Humanities”. Of the three speakers, one was by Peter Berkery, the Director of the Association of University Presses, one by an academic, Paul Spence – a …

Text Analytics Forum: a valuable guide to what is happening

The second year of the Text Analytics Forum took place Washington, DC, last week, and it was good to see the conference building from its first iteration and developing in range.  Tom Reamy, the conference chair and organiser, has shaped this event very much around …

Do baseball stats help you understand climate change?

Nate Silver likes a bet, so much so that he quit his job and became a full-time poker player for some years. So perhaps it is not surprising that this is an author with a passion for probability, whose interpretation of Bayesian reasoning is gambling …

Facts vs. Fake News: Who decides what is True?

The impressive title, “Facts vs. Fake News: Who Decides What is True?”, suggested a session that perhaps with hindsight was difficult to live up to. It was one of those topics that sounded self-evident, yet when people started discussing it turned out to be rather …

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