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Anthony Butler

Anthony Butler is based in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where he currently Chief Technology Officer for IBM Middle East and Africa. He is focused on emerging technologies and applications.

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Cross-border data flows and economic value

I had the opportunity to recently speak at an event hosted by Asia House and Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CGSB) on the global data landscape.  In this talk, I discussed the following points: 1. Today, cross-border data flows account for a larger share of global GDP than the

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On centeralised exchange risks and how to fix them

The recent collapse of digital assets/currency exchange FTX again highlights the risks associated with centeralised digital assets exchanges.   This risk, however, mostly relates to operational and business aspects of how these exchanges operate – as opposed to the blockchain technology itself – but also highlights the need for us to continue

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The future of work in the metaverse

Originally published in Arab News. In the 1930s, Nobel Prize-winning economist Ronald Coase wrote a seminal essay on the nature of the firm, explaining the reason for the emergence and growth of companies. He argued that firms are what they are because of transaction costs.  It is not cost-effective to

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Intellectual Property and the Metaverse

Amidst all the excitement about the metaverse, it's always interesting to think about what else needs to evolve; what are the second-order effects that we need to consider.  There are, broadly, an interesting set of legal issues and questions that arise from the metaverse.  I have written, for example, about

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A “Turing Test” for Virtual Worlds

I recently read Reality+:Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy by New York University's Professor David Chalmers.  It's one of the more interesting and intellectually challenging books written on what is today being characterised broadly as the "metaverse": with Chalmers using the emergence of virtual worlds as a mechanism

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Interview with MEA Finance on applications of AI in financial advisory services

Originally published at https://issuu.com/meafinance/docs/september-2022/22 At the beginning of 2022, several new Robo Advisory platforms were launched in GCC, can we expect to see many more coming online in the near future? The first robo-advisors appeared in 2010 and the market has grown rapidly in

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Emerging metaverse security and privacy threats

The metaverse has captured everyone's imagination – including mine – particularly as we start think through the economic and social possibilities that it can unlock.  As with most things though, there are also risks and threats; and, as companies and governments think through the great potential, they should also consider potential risks.

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Accellerating decentralized innovation in biotech

Most people will have heard of Moore's Law as it relates to the computer industry but there's a similar – though diametrically opposed -- law that governs the pharmacutical indusry known as Eroom's Law.  Eroom's Law states that the speed of drug development declines and costs double every nine years. This

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Power laws, population, and prosperity

This week, I was discussing the plans announced by the Saudi government last year to double the population of Riyadh by 2030.  I mentioned, much to the apparent surprise of some of the audience, that doubling the population of the city could help make the city a much greener and

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On identifying talent

There are few decisions that can have as great a positive – or negative – impact on a company or a team than hiring decisions: talent allocation is, after all, the fuel behind economic growth.  As such, being able to interview well is a super-power; part art, part science but a fundamentally