Category: ICTD

  • Cabbies in Mexico City and Beyond – II

    Cabbies in Mexico City and Beyond – II

    Locals loudly complain about traffic in Mexico City, especially during peak hours. That is also less than ideal for app-driven cabbies. However, I usually tell both cohorts that, comparatively speaking, traffic in the City is not that bad. The situation in other large cities in the Global South I have visited is much worse. In…

  • Cabbies in Mexico City and Beyond

    Cabbies in Mexico City and Beyond

    Almost two decades ago, an army of green VW Beetles operating as taxis swarmed Mexico City like an ant colony in permanent search of the next meal—except cab drivers were not working in teams but rather competing intensively to get the next customer. Estimates suggest that half of the almost 100k taxis endlessly circulating the…

  • Major Minor Metals

    Major Minor Metals

    Even though it could not be avoided, I still daydreamed about skipping it. I was getting ready to start my last two years of high school, and the curriculum pinpointed chemistry and physics as my tallest hurdles ahead. If I had a choice, I would have opted for physics as I was already familiar with…

  • AI and ICTs

    AI and ICTs

    Is AI an ICT? It sounds like a straightforward question. But before we dive into those seemingly shallow waters, let us tackle acronym abuse. I hope to use four consistently: AI (Artificial Intelligence), Gen AI (Generative AI), IT (Information Technology), and ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) – while adding a few more along the way.…

  • Generative AI (GenAI) in the Public Sector

    Generative AI (GenAI) in the Public Sector

    It was a last-minute decision. The annual New York Film Festival was underway, and I had carefully studied its lineup. My list had four options: 1. Must see. 2. Should see. 3. See some time later on. And 4. Not really interested. The film playing that day was part of the second set. Sixty minutes…

  • Regulating Digital Platforms – IV

    Regulating Digital Platforms – IV

    That the EU is well ahead of the rest of the world regarding digital technology regulation is not under dispute . The recent agreement on AI regulation provides further evidence of its leadership . A more interesting question is why the Union has not been able to give birth to digital platforms and companies that…

  • Regulating Digital Platforms – III

    Regulating Digital Platforms – III

    Digital platforms are a particular case of the broader platform category and thus have distinct characteristics. At the same time, they come in different forms and shapes. Putting them into a single box is not a piece of cake. Indeed, the devil is in the details. That is undoubtedly a challenge for policymakers and regulators.…

  • Regulating Digital Platforms – II

    Regulating Digital Platforms – II

    As suggested in the first part of this post, not all platforms are digital. In fact, analog platforms are the older siblings. Its digital counterparts are undoubtedly distinct, their calling card usually being their multisided nature – operating in more than one two-sided market. However, analog multisided platforms have also existed for a long time…

  • Regulating Digital Platforms – I

    Regulating Digital Platforms – I

    By all accounts, the regulatory tide, constantly receding for so many years, is finally returning to the digital realm’s now extensive and arid shores . Indeed, digital platforms are now under the policy microscope, especially the well-known global giants whose names I do not need to echo here. These behemoths are carrying the day with…

  • AI Disinformation – II

    AI Disinformation – II

    AI’s astounding evolution in the last decade has been nothing less than spectacular, pace doomers. It has undoubtedly exceeded most expectations, bringing numerous benefits and generating new challenges and risks. The latter is crucial to understand as AI has a bi-polar personality. It is indeed friend and foe. It all depends on how humans (ab)use…

  • AI Disinformation – I

    AI Disinformation – I

    The idea of a technological singularity has been around for over 60 years. While initially confined to closed circles of experts, it has been gaining a lot of ground in the race to the future, which, according to its core tenets, will be devastating for us, poor dumb humans. I probably first heard about it…

  • Organized Disinformation – II

    Organized Disinformation – II

    Bubble inhabitants live in a world surrounded by an invisible yet effective firewall that protects them from allegedly vicious external sources, disinformation included. In such a paradise, harm is almost always pushed back if it attempts to cross it. And bliss emerges in a world of subtle, ample ignorance. While many might know they live…

  • Organized Disinformation – I

    Organized Disinformation – I

    I still remember the phone number of the line my parents somehow managed to get installed in their first-owned house, a three-story dwelling my father, a civil engineer, helped design and build for a family of seven. It had six digits, which seemed like one too many. When asked, my father said the reason was…

  • More on AI Programming

    More on AI Programming

    In the coldhearted realm of disinformation, deepfakes seem to reign supreme, bullying all others around along the way. The fact that they have multiple personalities makes them even more insidious. Voice, text, images and video content are some of the most common, with combinations among them being a frequent occurrence. Lip-syncing the voice of a…

  • Internet Metaphors in Practice – II

    Internet Metaphors in Practice – II

    A couple of years later, I installed our first Wi-Fi router, allowing us to connect our laptops to the network from almost any point in the house. But wireless connection speeds were limited to 11 Mbps while the good old ethernet wire could do 100 Mbps. Not even close. Wired connections were not only faster…