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…

Virtual assistants were designed for accessibility & inclusivity but often appeal to a wider audience. Here’s why…

If I approached you right now and said a breezy “hi there,” apart from wondering how I got into your living room, you probably wouldn’t be super shocked. Why? Because people greet one another all the time — family, friends, neighbours, strangers. But when we do this or communicate vocally with each other for any reason, we take something monumental for granted: our voice.

Today is the perfect time to appreciate and honour the capacity to speak, as it’s World Voice Day. This annual event seeks to celebrate the voice, which the organisers compare to:

“a gem with facets reflecting…

How EY is ensuring all of its people have an equal chance to upskill & grow

In June 2020, amid great job-market uncertainty, EY launched its groundbreaking Tech MBA in partnership with Hult International Business School. The first of its kind, this fully-accredited course offers all of EY’s 300,000 people the chance to develop new knowledge, behaviours, and skills in a range of technology, leadership, and business areas — such as artificial intelligence blockchain, robotic process automation, employee wellbeing, diversity & inclusion, and sustainable business practices.

Being heavily involved in tech at EY, I was obviously thrilled about the trailblazing move. In a decidedly rubbish year, it gives everyone at the company the opportunity to better…

Artificial intelligence is automating slug monitoring & treatment, saving the environment & freeing up farmers to focus on other important tasks

Today marks this year’s April Fools’ Day, when the world’s slickest pranksters get the chance to hoodwink us all with their craftiest practical jokes and hoaxes. I like to think I’m pretty sharp-eyed, but in the past, even I’ve been taken in by a cunning jape or two on this tricksiest of days. And I was convinced the same had happened this morning when I chanced upon an innovation called SlugBot. No, your eyes do not deceive you.

Believe it or not, SlugBot isn’t some cooked-up jest. It is in fact a real invention, dating back two whole decades. This…

Alongside raising awareness of brain tumour research, I look at a couple of ways AI has improved the diagnosis of this devastating & underfunded disease

Photo by Felipe Galvan on Unsplash

Today in the UK, we celebrate Wear A Hat Day! It’s now been 11 years since Brain Tumour Research launched this quirky annual event to support its worthy campaigning activity and raise vital funds for discovery research. And it’s easy to understand why. Brain tumours are indiscriminate — they kill more children and adults under 40 than any other cancer, which is why it’s almost unbelievable that a mere 1% of UK cancer spending goes to the disease.

2021’s Wear A Hat Day also honours key workers, to whom we owe so much after the past year. Take NHS workers…

Why EdTech needs to attract a bigger slice of the AI investment pie & why that’s a greater challenge than it may seem

Photo by Ales Nesetril on Unsplash

In a year when outdoor festivals are on hiatus, I was excited to attend my first virtual festival. And it was indeed a true AI-fest. Guests at the AI Festival 2021 were treated to scores of thought-provoking insights from speakers in academia, politics, and industry — with Facebook, Google, and MIT just a few of the most notable organisations there.

I especially loved hearing from UK experts, such as the Alan Turing Institute, Babylon Health, BT, and UCL, who showed that UK AI talent can compete with its more renowned counterparts elsewhere in the world. …

I choose to celebrate Women’s History Month by remembering the “Enchantress of Number” and her greatest achievements

Ada Lovelace portrait

As part of this year’s exciting EY International Women’s Day activities, I named my inspirational mother as a role model. The founder of multiple businesses and a former Great British Bake Off contestant, she’s definitely where I get my entrepreneurial and can-do spirit. As Women’s History Month continues, I’d like to highlight another personal hero, one revered by many women in mathematics and technology, and by lots of women in general: Ada Lovelace, inventor of the algorithm.

Many success stories start with a talented parent. This is certainly true of both me and Ada Lovelace, daughter of “dramatically dark and…

A recently patented Microsoft chatbot would allow people to bring their deceased loved ones “back to life”. How do we feel about that?

Black Mirror, Be Right Back

For anyone who has ever suffered a loss, Microsoft could have an incredible solution — but it’s a controversial one. The US Department of Commerce recently granted the tech giant a patent permitting the manufacture of a chatbot based on a deceased person’s information, including “images, voice data, social media posts [and] electronic messages.” If Microsoft goes ahead with the idea, it would create AI versions of humans, possibly accompanied by digital representations of their face or body.

We already have access to the technology needed to make this happen. And we’ve seen AI used to bring the dead back…

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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