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The vast majority of members of parliament do not hold degrees in the sciences, so how do they make legislation on scientific issues?
In the first episode of our podcast On theCusp, we discuss how governments integrate science into the policy making process. We spoke to Lord Martin Rees, astrophysicist and peer in the House of Lords, and Prof. Michelle Baddeley, a fellow of the Centre for Science and Policy at Cambridge University. We also interviewed Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge and shadow Secretary for Transport, as well as Dr. David Cleeveley, founder of the Centre for Science and Policy. To gain insight into how the public can engage in Science and Policy, we spoke to Anna Perman from the British Science Association.
Our latest podcast examines the ever-growing field of big data. We asked experts in the field how the collection, storage and distribution of personal data intersects with citizens’ right to privacy. We spoke to Jennifer Copic and Dr. Eirann Leverett from the Centre for Risk Studies Team at the Cambridge University Judge Business School; Will Shackleton, a Cambridge alumnus who now works on the security team at Facebook; Dr. Jerry Fishenden, one of the UK’s leading experts in the world of technology and Edward Lucas, editor at The Economist. We also asked members of the public (who inadvertently generate data every day) their views about big data.
To enjoy the podcast, check us out here.
Competition Impacts of Policy Tariff Options: There and Back Again Ensuring sufficient competition in the energy market is a key role of the regulator. One of the most popular measures for measuring competition has been in the analysis of customers switching between tariff plans. Unfortunately, switching rates are comparatively low and the market remains dominated (85%) by the six largest energy companies. Many regulatory interventions have been made, but one of the most significant was a cap on the total number of tariff plans on offer by suppliers.
Eye in the Sky: Proliferation of Remote Sensing
The proliferation of commercial remote sensing satellites has increased the availability of satellite images. These images are predicted to increase in spatial and temporal resolution (clarity and frequency) until satellite imagery becomes near real-time. This new technology will have positive and negative effects on society due to the dual nature of satellite imagery. This paper highlights some of the potential consequences of ubiquitous satellite imagery. Furthermore, it examines current regulations and illustrates how these regulations will be unsuitable in the future. Finally, it examines UN regulations surrounding satellite imagery and if international treaties could be used to regulate this technology.
Advanced Artificial Intelligence: Policy and Strategy
AI technology has the potential to bring huge benefits to society. It is also possible that advanced Artificial General Intelligence – AI capable of performing at or above human level on a wide range of tasks – could be highly destructive, as discussed by an increasing number of experts in the field. There are many misconceptions about the field of AI and its potential dangers. The problem is not that an AI system will suddenly develop human-like emotions of anger or resentment and ‘rebel’. Rather the issues are more subtle. How can we reliably predict the behaviour of an AI system? How can we specify the goals of a system such that we avoid unanticipated side-effects? How do we ensure that those developing advanced AI are paying sufficient attention to ensuring safety, and avoid arms-race dynamics?
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