How we have harnessed hyperconnectivity in 2018

As technology develops, we’re seeing an unprecedented access to information and data, and new technology is empowering people to do things differently. In our Harnessing Hyperconnectivity Spotlight series this year, we looked at the impact this new technology is having.

Ankur Shah, founder of mahabis, was our guest editor as we journeyed into the connected world. But what did we learn?

Data can spark creativity

Ankur explained how he came up with the idea for his slipper business: “My starting point was Google Trends; a tool that converts over three billion daily web searches, from people around the world, into a series of trends. One of those was an overwhelming number of searches for slippers. Huge demand; a multi-billion dollar industry with no brand I could easily recall. I’d found my little part of the internet to call home.

“Four years on, and one million slipper sales later, it turns out the data wasn’t wrong. But much more interestingly, from setting up global supply chains to engaging with customers in over 100 countries, our small journey was the perfect illustration of how hyperconnectivity had really changed so many aspects of our world.”

AI has applications even in healthcare

Rebecca Bright MBE was name as one of the winners of Virgin Media Business’ Voom 2018 competition for her business, Therapy Box. Utilising new technologies, she’s been able to make speech therapists’ lives easier.

“Speech and language therapy assessment involves recording and analysing patient speech. Language analysis norms have been established, but tests to assess this require manual transcription of speech, word counts and calculations. This detailed transcription and analysis of language is essential for determining effective intervention strategies and measuring outcomes for patients with speech and language problems.

“However, this manual method is very time consuming and susceptible to human error. A language assessment which takes 30 minutes to carry out could take another 90 minutes of administrative work (transcription and analysis) in the background. Pressure on NHS speech and language therapists’ time due to increasing caseload sizes has cut the time available for this activity, which is vital for determining the correct intervention plan. This can lead to poor outcomes for children and an increase in speech and language therapist time needed to address the problem. A tool which can complete language transcription and analysis automatically would significantly reduce the time required by a therapist to complete this specialist activity. This would lead to better informed therapist management plans, improved outcomes for children and increased efficiency.”

New technology can have positive impact

As technology develops, inevitably people will use it for criminal purposes. However Lauren Hutton, head of fraud and financial markets at Quantexa, explained how technology is helping to catch criminals.

“The success of any criminal operation is ultimately contingent on the ability of its associated parties in keeping their identities hidden. This is something criminals have had to be particularly creative in doing, often making use of aliases, false addresses, burner phones and so on. However, in our increasingly digital world it has become virtually impossible for criminals to avoid leaving a trail of data wherever they go. In our interconnected world, it's harder than ever criminals to remain completely hidden.

“Emerging networking technologies makes use of this abundant data, placing it into context. Essentially, the software builds a comprehensive network of people and how they inter-connect with each other. Connections might include a shared address, a history of transacting with each other or whether they have used the same ATM at the same time. These networks are providing insight with unparalleled levels of efficiency for organisations who want to protect themselves against criminal activity. Most commonly this is banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions who want to ensure their facilities are not being used for nefarious purposes, but can also be used by government bodies, national security groups or even NGOs.”

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