‘Surprised? No, not really!’
The ‘Effective Age-gating for Online Alcohol Sales’ report, funded by Alcohol Change UK, is published today. Written by Jess Muirhead and Vic Grout, it considers the question of how easy it is for UK under 18s to purchase alcohol via the Internet, and makes five key recommendations:
Recommendation 1: The law must be clarified
Despite its best intentions, the current law is ambiguous in relation to how and where safeguards are to be applied to prevent under 18s obtaining alcohol online. If the intention really is to allow age-checking on delivery as a substitute for online verification then that should be published as official guidance by the relevant authorities. However, knowing such measures to be as ineffective as they are, it is to be hoped that the necessary clarification would move the law in the other direction: that robust online age verification – at the transaction stage – becomes a clear legal requirement.
“Glyndwr University researcher seeks real world data to develop AI landmine clearance”
A landmine research project which aims to develop an artificial intelligence approach to mine clearance is being developed at Wrexham Glyndwr University.
The project – which is currently in its developmental stages – is being developed by Computing PhD student Alexander Bruckbauer who is working on building the model under the supervision of Professor of Computing Futures Vic Grout.
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:
- Can we all agree that the next few years are going to bring some interesting technological developments? Yes?
- 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?
- Are we generally confident that emerging/future technology will benefit people? Ah!
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?