How designing for the minority can help protect the LGBTQ+ community and improve the internet for everybody

We’re nearing the close of Pride month, 30 colourful days when people come together in unity and solidarity to celebrate the queer community and the vast distance LGBTQ+ rights have come. In fact, just yesterday I had the pleasure of presenting an Allyship award at the 2021 EY Unity LGBT+ Awards.

June (the month of the landmark 1969 Stonewall riots) may soon come to an end, but what doesn’t end is the need to continue to teach LGBTQ+ history, promote tolerance, challenge homophobia and campaign for equality and diversity in all areas of life.

Of course, in some places, there’s…


“In the Navy,” as the 1979 song goes, recruits can “learn science technology.” That was true then, and it’s true now, as Navies across the world use AI to tighten defence at sea.

The XLUUV

The Village People got it right when they said Navy recruits can not only “sail the seven seas” but also “learn science technology.” Of course, at the time, the campy American disco group had in mind the United States Navy, who incredibly employed In the Navy for a television and radio ad campaign. But the sentiment applies equally today to the British Royal Navy, now increasingly turning to artificial intelligence to tackle present and future challenges.

In April, the Royal Navy quietly debuted a small autonomous submarine — aka, an Extra-Large Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (XLUUV). At nine-tonnes (roughly the same…


As a member of the new Scottish AI Alliance Leadership Circle, I’ll help shape a healthier relationship between Scotland & artificial intelligence. Here’s how & why…

This week, I was beyond thrilled to announce that I’ve been selected as a member of the Scottish AI Alliance Leadership Circle, a new multi-stakeholder group with representation from across society. Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Finance & Economy, Kate Forbes, describes us as:

“dynamic, incisive, international, and representative.”

And she’s right. In the Leadership Circle, I join others, including members of the public and leading tech experts from top public and private sector organizations and universities. Working collaboratively with an open dialogue and a focus on decisive action, we’ll support the crucial work of Scotland’s AI Strategy.

The thirteen members…


To optimise UX, we usually go for a minimalist experience. But is there something to be said for a maximalist approach?

Maximalist web design

Maximalism makes me think more of the Roman Emperor Magnus Maximus than the design term denoting an “aesthetic of excess.” Both share the same etymological roots and, like maximalism, the real Maximus was all about the idea that ‘more is more.’

After Maximus was declared emperor by his British troops in 383, he travelled to Gaul to pursue greater imperial ambitions. There, he usurped the Western Emperor, Gratian, going on to rule Britain, Gaul, Spain, and Africa. But he wanted more, eventually trying to invade Italy in 387. …


I once Googled ‘unusual mactini recipes‘ instead of ‘martini’ & my mistake sucked me down an internet rabbit hole…

It all started when I clicked upon the 2008 BBC comedy The New Mactini to find John (cue rimless specs and lego man haircut) giving me a guided tour of “the latest revolution in computer technology…the Mactini.”

After his intro, the camera cuts to a postage-stamp-sized laptop that John calls “the smallest computer in the world.” It soon becomes clear the target of the parody is Steve Jobs’ Apple.

I immediately fall in love with the Mactini’s unique selling point: a single key that “performs all the functions of a regular keyboard.” To type each letter of the alphabet, the…


The two organizations teamed up to build a blockchain network for Xbox rights & royalties processing. Here’s why…

Xbox Series X

Serious ‘cool mum’ points — as expected, that’s what I earned when my kids and their gaming pals discovered that EY has been partnering with tech behemoth Microsoft on a game-changing blockchain-based solution for their favourite console, Xbox.

The latest link in a long and sturdy…erm…chain of EY blockchain activity (sorry, I just couldn’t resist), the solution is pretty simple — even if it did take more than a little explaining to my teens.

The transparent blockchain network essentially means Xbox can capture gaming rights and royalties on its platform, fully automating a process formerly done through a slow, expensive…


In 2020, EY developed a rockin’ pandemic solution, and it’s helping people get back to events like Eurovision. Now that’s worth a warble!

Less is more, as they say. This is certainly true of EY’s simple yet effective Proximity Monitor. The award-winning technology solution measures the effectiveness of social distancing procedures and awareness communications, highlighting any worrying areas of congestion that could lead to non-compliance.

But we can’t say that less is more applies to the next event the tech will perform at: the Eurovision Song Contest. More is definitely more there! If you’re in any doubt over this fact, watch Will Ferrell’s glorious comedy romp, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. …


Hiring neurodivergent workers is more than just a matter of decency — there’s a strong business case too

In the 2016 BBC docu-series, Employable Me, Ashley gives viewers the grand tour of his Liverpool “bachelor pad.” The 29-year-old leads us into the living room, on which we can only focus once we unglue our eyes from his huge handlebar moustache — the sort that once decorated the stiff upper lips of Colonels and Generals at the height of the British Empire.

“One thing you might notice is that it’s completely purple…the colour of madness,” he says. “Purple and I have something in common: we’re unusual, rarely seen, and sadly misunderstood.”

Ashley, you see, has Asperger’s Syndrome. Like many…


Researchers are venturing into uncharted waters, exploring whether artificial intelligence can help us better understand our animal cousins

If you’ve ever seen Finding Dory, the sweet and funny sequel to box-office hit Finding Nemo, you’ll know what it means to ‘speak whale.’ Without the help of a befuddled beluga whale called Bailey, the film’s forgetful fishy heroine would never escape the fictional Marine Life Institute and “just keep swimming” to find her long-lost parents.

Thanks to robotics and artificial intelligence (specifically natural language processing powered by machine learning), it might also be possible to understand whale lingo outside Disney-Pixar’s imaginary kaleidoscopic multiverse. …


As we bid farewell to the Duke of Edinburgh, I pay homage to his love of technology & innovation, exploring some tech-based schemes linked with the legendary DofE Award.

With an incredibly heavy heart, the world recently said goodbye to HRH Prince Philip, the Queen’s beloved husband and “strength and stay” for 73 years. Credited with helping to shape the modern monarchy in Britain, saving it from becoming “a museum piece” as he feared, the Duke of Edinburgh lived a life of unflagging public duty well into his advanced years.

Prince Philip often focused his royal work on such passions as religion, nature, industry, and science. As a technology and innovation leader myself, I’ll mostly remember His Royal Highness for an unrelenting commitment to development — and a real…

Catriona Campbell

Behavioural psychologist; AI-quisitive; EY UK&I Client Technology & Innovation Officer. Views my own & don't represent EY’s position. catrionacampbell.com

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