In this week’s episode of the Computer Weekly Downtime Upload podcast, Clare McDonald, Caroline Donnelly and Brian McKenna talk about digital artwork, Covid-19’s seemingly lasting affect on the datacentre business, and the dearth of progress in variety in IT
In this week’s episode of the Computer Weekly Downtime Upload podcast, Clare McDonald, Caroline Donnelly and Brian McKenna talk about digital artwork, Covid-19’s seemingly lasting affect on the datacentre business, and a number of the persistent blockages dealing with variety in IT.
- Sweltering in a British heatwave, the trio start with a dialogue about digital artwork within the context of the pandemic, with air-conditioned museums and galleries being, sadly, out of attain.
- Brian begins the dialogue by referring to an interview he performed with Rob Anders, CEO of Niio, an Israeli startup digital artwork platform.
- He additionally harks again to a narrative mentioned on the third ever Computer Weekly Downtime Upload podcast about Watercolour World. In that occasion, the story was about digitising already current artwork. Niio’s focus is digital artwork, together with video.
- It provides artists and consumers a platform to publish and buy artwork. The platform makes use of blockchain know-how to create a everlasting bond between a creator and their artefact, and synthetic intelligence to personalise digital artwork for customers of it – simply as Spotify or Netflix does for music and movie.
- The platform hosts greater than 13,000 artworks created by over 4,000 artists on its Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud-based platform. And though the works can show on any digital display, massive high-definition screens in resorts and airports, or within the lobbies of legislation companies or banks, are the larger outlet for now, says Brian. Niio has additionally been making artworks accessible as Zoom backgrounds through the pandemic.
- Caroline and Clare talk about the Niio enterprise mannequin, highlighting the difficulty of the straightforward reproducibility of digital photos and video. Brian says Niio maintains it could make sure the shortage of the artwork on its platform, and subsequently its financial worth, through the use of blockchain know-how.
- The crew then go on to debate digital galleries and museums extra usually. Is the Covid-19 disaster ushering in a brand new period of digital artwork show? Certainly, galleries have their very own digital excursions, a few of which even cross over into gaming, the place you may add digital photos into, say, the hit Nintendo Switch sport Animal Crossing.
- Brian wonders if there’s something about standing in entrance of an actual portray in an actual gallery, for which there is no such thing as a attainable digital substitute – however that’s simply his opinion.
- As for Niio, its platform works due to the cloud, which is an actual factor made up of datacentres.
- Caroline has a function in progress in regards to the lasting affect of the pandemic on the datacentre business and speaks subsequent on the podcast about that, creating a number of the evaluation from our earlier episode.
- There are indicators, she says, that governments internationally are waking as much as how essential datacentres are to maintain the financial system going.
- In the UK, the business has felt uncared for by authorities, says Caroline, and ill-understood as a revenue-driver and an employer. Datacentre staff have been designated as key staff throughout this pandemic interval, due to lobbying by TechUK.
- The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) lately arrange an information infrastructure resiliency crew, centered on the datacentre business, and that could be a new and notable factor, says Caroline. That single level of contact ought to assist now and sooner or later, bringing an “elevation in status” for the business within the eyes of presidency.
- This might carry extra scrutiny and regulation to bear on a sector that’s already scrutinised when it comes to power use, however the profit can be in having a voice that’s extra listened to by the powers that be.
- But will the nation’s Covid-time love affair with datacentres, which have ensured our leisure in addition to enabling our working from dwelling, final?
- Meanwhile, the datacentre business just isn’t famous for its variety, even throughout the nonetheless too non-diverse world of IT extra usually.
- Clare talks us via a BCS evaluation of Office for National Statistics knowledge on variety, which reveals a troubling lack of progress within the variety of girls, BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) individuals and disabled individuals working in IT. Only 9% of IT administrators are from BAME communities, and 13% of IT administrators are girls, the statistics present.
- Also, larger ranges of schooling aren’t serving to as a lot as is likely to be supposed. For instance, says Clare, this explicit piece of analysis exhibits that too many ladies with undergraduate and better levels are nonetheless in IT roles beneath their stage of instructional attainment.
- The analysis means that each feminine and BAME IT specialists are inclined to have much less duty than IT specialists from different teams, regardless of related or larger ranges of qualification.
- Clare provides that about 17% of IT specialists are girls, which represents a 1% change in 5 years, and 18% of know-how specialists are BAME, representing a 2% change.
- On the subject of variety, Brian closes the podcast by flagging up the chief within the 30 June challenge of the Computer Weekly ezine by Cliff Saran, our managing editor (know-how).
- Cliff’s chief is about know-how CEOs talking up for race equality – Antonio Neri of HPE, Tim Cook of Apple, Satya Nadella of Microsoft and Jeff Bezos of Amazon.
- Cliff writes: “These corporate leaders are calling on their employees, their customers, the software development and partner communities to come together to make a difference. They are certainly not civil rights leaders. But in this topsy-turvy, highly connected, technologically driven world, their common message has a global reach. Maybe, just maybe, it can help make a difference.”
Podcast music courtesy of Joseph McDade