Author Archives: Vic Grout

About Vic Grout

Chair, Clwyd South Labour Party; Professor of Computing Futures, Wrexham Glyndwr University

Research into Effective Age-Gating for Online Alcohol Sales

An open request for help/consultation here.  Please get in contact if you can …

Two researchers at Wrexham Glyndŵr University, Jess Muirhead and Prof. Vic Grout, have been commissioned by Alcohol Change UK to undertake a study of the effectiveness of online ‘age-gating’ mechanism’s in preventing under 18-year olds from purchasing alcohol via the Internet.  We have limited time to complete this research and produce our report so we are looking to conduct interviews with relevant actors (finance, producers, suppliers, distributers, retailers, web-designers, local authorities, customers, etc.) as quickly as possible.  Thus, we’re hoping we can arrange an opportunity to speak with people at their earliest convenience.  We can talk on the phone, face-to-face (travel costs permitting), using any online software or any other format that suits anyone.

We’d like to stress unequivocally that anonymity will we be guaranteed throughout.  We will not record these discussions and no individual attribution will appear in our final report.  Although we might takes the roughest of notes during the interview, these will be only to remind us of points to follow up on to guide us in our ongoing research.  This is essentially a fact-finding exercise; certainly not any sort of ‘undercover operation’.  There will be no ‘blaming or shaming’: we simply want to get a clearer idea of what processes are in place; what works and what doesn’t.  We’re also naturally very interested indeed in others’ thoughts on how future processes could be improved.

So we’d be extremely grateful to anyone who could spare half an hour or so to help us with this research.  If you can, and considering the element of urgency in this, could you please get back to us quickly by any of the following means:

Thank you in advance and we look forward to talking to you.

Yours,

Jess Muirhead & Vic Grout, Department of Computing, Wrexham Glyndŵr University


More Predictions Coming True?

OK, I know this is blowing my own trumpet a bit but, frankly, this is getting desperate so maybe it’s time to take the gloves off and look at some of the emerging tech. ethics predictions I’ve made over the years and how they’re turning out …

Personal privacy:

AI/Robot Sex:

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Technology Changing the World? It’s time for the regular reminder …

There’s a UK general election on Thursday 12th December.  Perhaps a once-in-a-generation chance to steer the country away from fascism?  The stakes are high and the issues numerous (yes, really, more than just Brexit) but here, we’ll try to keep to the technology.  However, ‘keeping to the technology’ is as much to do with understanding what it can’t and won’t do, just as much as what it can and will …

Some of this isn’t new in this blog but it seems to be a timely reminder.  Let’s start with a simple (rhetorical) straw poll:

  1. Can we all agree that the next few years are going to bring some interesting technological developments?  Yes?
  2. Can we generally agree that those ‘developments’ can be loosely described as ‘advances’?  Hmm?  Not quite so certain?  Depends on your point of view?  Maybe?  Possibly?  Most of the time?  Probably?
  3. Are we generally confident that emerging/future technology will benefit people?  Ah!

Which people?

This is at the heart of it.  Yes, technology changes lives.  Yes, it has the potential to make lives better.  But will it?  and for whom?

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New edition of ‘Conscious’

Yes, indeed, there’s a new edition of the novel!

Updated slightly to reflect changing world events (although, sadly, all the initial predictions are pretty much coming true now).  And with a swish new cover!  Just search for ‘Vic Grout Conscious’ on Amazon in your region (and choose the one with the cool blue cover) or use the direct links below.

Enjoy!