Passionately curious about Data, Databases and Systems Complexity. Data is ubiquitous, the database universe is dichotomous (structured and unstructured), expanding and complex. Find my Database Research at SQLToolkit.co.uk . Microsoft Data Platform MVP

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing" Einstein

Thursday 30 January 2020

Diversity Dashboard

I came across this interesting tool, a diversity dashboard. A tool for monitoring diversity and inclusion in your workplace using the workflow tools GitHub and Slack. The Diversity Dashboard is a beta tool we has been developed to offer insights into gender inclusion within the workplace.

There is  project underway to gain insight for diversity and inclusion. The Women in Data Science and AI research project at The Alan Turing Institute is working to map the participation of women in data science and AI in the UK, and to investigate diversity and inclusion in tech workplace cultures, and bias in the design of AI systems. The project aims to increase the number of women in data science and AI through the development of data-based policy recommendations, thereby addressing the risks posed by the lack of diversity in these fields.

Wednesday 29 January 2020

SQLBits 2020 Theme

The SQLBits theme has been announced for 2020. The Greatest Data Show!

They say no one ever makes a difference being like everyone else. SQLBits want you to bring your alter ego, embrace oddity, and soak in the spectacle at #SQLBits2020!

Registration is still open, so register now.

Saturday 25 January 2020

Carbon negative

I read with great interest about the Microsoft announcement of becoming carbon negative. Microsoft have stated they will be carbon negative by 2030. Also by 2050 Microsoft will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975.

It is great that such an ambition has been set and it will be interesting to watch how this is achieved.  

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Azure Backup support files restore for SQL Server 2019

Azure Backup protects standalone SQL Server and SQL AlwaysOn configurations in Azure Virtual Machine without the need to deploy and manage any backup infrastructure.  This is a key addition to the general availability of Azure Backup for SQL Server Virtual Machine . It is possible to restore .bak files. Read more about this restore operation.

Saturday 18 January 2020

Azure SQL Database Edge

Azure SQL Database Edge is available in public preview. Azure SQL Database Edge runs on ARM and Intel architecture and brings the Microsoft SQL engine to the edge. This advancement helps reduce the development required with the same Microsoft SQL database engine both on-premises and in the cloud. 

Wednesday 15 January 2020

Microsoft Ignite The Tour 2020

Tomorrow it is Microsoft Ignite The Tour 16-17 January 2020 in London. Microsoft Ignite The Tour provides technical training led by Microsoft experts and your community. There are plenty of exciting things to learn, new ways to build solutions, migrate and manage infrastructure, and connect with local industry leaders and peers.

Tuesday 7 January 2020

ODI Data Ethics Canvas

The ODI have created a useful tool for anyone who collects, shares or uses data. This aims to help identify management ethical issues at the start of a data project. The Open Data Institute defines data ethics as:

'A branch of ethics that evaluates data practices with the potential to adversely impact on people and society – in data collection, sharing and use'

They say data ethics relates to good practice around how data is collected, used and shared. It is especially relevant when data activities have the potential to impact people and society, directly or indirectly.

The Data Ethics Canvas is a part of a wider data toolkit.

Thursday 2 January 2020

Asilomar AI Principles

Data Ethics has been brought to the fore by AI algorithms showing bias. There are various insightful articles which discuss data ethics. The Asilomar Conference on Beneficial AI organized by the Future of Life Institute was held January 5-8 2017 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in California. The conference aimed to address and formulate principles of beneficial AI. With more than 100 thought leaders and researches in economics, law, ethics and philosophy at the conference, it resulted in the creation of a set of guidelines for AI research. There are 23 Asilomar AI Principles of which many are related to ethics and values.

This is a significant enhancement on the Isaac Asimov's "Three Laws of Robotics" which were shared in his 1942 short story "Runaround". The Three Laws he listed were:

  • A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  • A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  • A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

In 2016 Satya Nadella did share a vision for more relevant AI rules.

  • AI must be designed to assist humanity.
  • AI must be transparent. 
  • AI must maximize efficiencies without destroying the dignity of people. 
  • AI must be designed for intelligent privacy. 
  • AI must have algorithmic accountability. 
  • AI must guard against bias. 

From this it has led to data ethics becoming its own branch of ethics.