Monday, November 4, 2019


Spent most of the day at a conference where one of the topics included a discussion on likely developments in the use of AI. I had been asked to participate in the discussion a couple of weeks ago (much to my surprise) and it was only when I took a look at the other panellists last night while preparing that I realised quite how different, shall we say my skill-set, was from the other panel members. Not being an engineer or a designer or an economist, I did rather stick out like a sore thumb and wonder whether my role was to lighten the mood - the situation was not helped when someone called me on my phone literally as the moderator was asking the first question of the session which he had directed at me. Mercifully the phone was on silent but I was painfully aware of the phone vibrating insistantly against my chest in my jacket pocket as I struggled to focus on the question and to compose an intelligible answer. As the audience shifted expectantly for my response I became aware that the microphone clipped to my tie was picking up the humming sound from the phone and I ended up taking the phone out of my pocket and with as much nonchalance as I could muster placing it on the table in front of me where it continued to rattle and hum whilst I thanked the moderator for asking me such an interesting question in an attempt to buy some more time. Fortunately the rest of the session was slightly less stressful. However, the conference was running very late so I had to hare up the Al Ain Rd to my next appointment which was the parents evening at the kids school for V's year. Fortunately this proceeded a lot more smoothly. V has had significant challenges this year due a badly broken leg (of which more anon) but notwithstanding the impact this has had on her school activities her teachers were fulsome in their praise so well done V.

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