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from IPython.display import display, HTML, IFrame
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The Digital Oligarchy: Information Knowledge and the Internet Era

Professor Neil Lawrence

@lawrennd, facebook, Web

University of Sheffield

About me

  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Offshore Oil Industry
  • PhD in Machine Learning from Cambridge
  • Microsoft Research
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Sheffield

About You

  • What is a Utility Company's Greatest Asset?

About Infrastructure

  • Physical infrastructure is expensive.
  • Information infrastructure is cheaper.
  • Organisation of that infrastructure can still be expensive.

Query from Industry

"Neil, can you help?"

... This will include the application of big data and “Internet of Things” concepts to XXXXX manufacturing in an Industry 4.0 paradigm.

"Can you explain yourself?"

... Whilst our project contains applications of big data and “Internet of Things” concepts, the primary goal is the optimisation of manufacturing flow in a next-generation factory.

Internet of Things

  • In the end it's all about data.
  • Sensors make data cheap.
  • Expense is in:
    • collating
    • interpreting

Guardian Debate

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Many Opportunities

  • How would you build a Utility Network Today?
  • Some parts of the infrastructure are still essential.
  • Would power distribution still be centralised?

Role of Coupled Networks in 21st Century Architecture

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Infrastructure in Africa

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Information Infrastructure

  • Utility of Data naturally concentrates.
  • Presents some interesting challenges for society.

The Digital Oligarchy

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  • For you
    • obtaining value from data
  • For me
    • technology provision
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