Why British Tech Investors Fail & Americans Succeed: Time To Reinvent Futurology?

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As a technologist, Richard Harvey is often asked to distinguish between wild speculation from solid prediction. And of course, the business world thrives on monetising the difference between those two things. While there are great number of numerical techniques that help us put error bars around mathematical extrapolations the tricky business of predicting society is largely unknown. Does futurology need to be reinvented to focus not on technological prediction, but on societal prediction? There is no innovation in Amazon is there? What there is, is a founder who is obsessive about his customers, i.e. a sociologist. Likewise, Steve Jobs, a man who was obsessive about computer users, not about technology. In this talk, Richard will try to set out the problem as he sees it, and will offer practical advice to technological futurology.


Richard Harvey is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of East Anglia, where he studies problems in AI often with applications in security. He is also the Worshipful Company of IT Professor at Gresham College London, where he is required to give public lectures on issues in IT. He has been involved in several business start-ups and has Chaired a successful Venture Fund Investment Committee for a while. He lives in Suffolk and in his spare time he is a Ranger for the Broads Authority. He also enjoys messing about in boats.

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

10:00 - 10:45 GMT


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  • Richard Harvey
    Professor Richard Harvey
    IT Livery Company Professor of Information Technology
    Gresham College
  • michael Mainelli.png
    Professor Michael Mainelli
    Executive Chairman
    Z/Yen Group