Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the March 2020 newsletter of the Irish Institute of Digital Business (IIDB). Our aim is to keep all staff up to date on news and events happening within the research institute.  

In this newsletter, we will review January and February and highlight all of the recent events, activities and achievements over this period. The newsletter will be issued monthly hereafter, reviewing each previous month.

I would like to thank all members of the IIDB for your positive engagement with the research institute to date. The Research Day particularly highlighted all of the great research projects being worked on at present. If you are not a member of the IIDB but would be interested in exploring potential membership then please email

Kind Regards,
Mark Cummins
The Irish Institute of Digital Business 
Conferences, events & workshops

IIDB Research Day

On 21st January 2020, IIDB held its inaugural Research Day. We would like to say a huge thank you to all of the speakers and contributors who supported the day. We kicked off with a keynote presentation by Prof. Brian Fitzgerald (University of Limerick), Director of LERO who spoke about the benefits and challenges of conducting multidisciplinary and industry engaged research. In our spotlight on IIDB research session, IIDB members shared some of the exciting projects that have been happening across the centre including the digital economy project (presented by Prof Theo Lynn), projects on consumer privacy and trust (presented by Dr Grace Fox), opportunities for the application of data analytics techniques (presented by Dr Pierangelo Rosati) and the latest IIDB Fintech research (presented by Prof Mark Cummins).
These presentations also highlighted the many opportunities for faculty from across the Business School community to get involved with the centre and engage in research collaboration across a range of disciplines and topics. The final session before lunch was a panel discussion focussed on publishing and reviewing academic research. The panel was hosted by Dr Lisa van der Werff and we were delighted to have input from Prof Edel Conway (IIDB Future of Work Theme Leader, Human Resource Management Journal Associate Editor), academic writing expert Prof Anne Huff and Prof Amanda Shantz (TCD, Human Relations Associate Editor). The afternoon consisted of a series of break out groups and discussions regarding IIDB's research strategy for 2020. We were delighted to welcome Dr Shirley Davey (University of Ulster) to join us for some of these discussions. All in all, the day was a great success and well attended both by IIDB members and faculty from across the Business School. 

'GET Event Series' - GET Social 2020

February saw the return of our GET mini-conference series, with GET Social. Taking a deep dive into social media, we were delighted to be joined by a range of speakers and attendees both internal across industry, including Safefood, Wolfgang Digital, Mick's Garage, In the Company of Huskies and Oracle. Thanks to Dr Pierangelo Rosati for organising another successful event!

Future Learn Fintech Microcredential

February also saw the launch of our FinTech micro-credential course in association with Future Learn and DCU Business School. The course is being delivered online by Prof. Mark Cummins and Dr. Pierangelo Rosati and offers industry participants a chance to explore up-to-date technological innovation and to address an emerging Fintech skills gap in the financial sector. 
The course was featured in the Irish Times in early February. Check out the article here. Thanks to Mark, Pierangelo, and IIDB member Dr. Peter Deeney for all the work on content development. Thanks also to the NIDL Ideas Lab for all the technological support.

The Future of Work in the Civil Service


Prof. Edel Conway and Dr. Yseult Freeney’s report entitled “Shaping the Future of Work in the Civil Service” was recently launched in collaboration with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. It builds on the findings of the Civil Service Employee Engagement Surveys and provides further insights into the most challenging results of the 2017 survey. The report includes a number of recommendations, which are currently being implemented by the civil service. A review of the report recently featured in The Sunday Times and a video summary of the research is available here: 

MSc in Insight and Innovation

Dr Peter Robbins was delighted to be the academic lead in the successful bid, against intense competition, for an extraordinarily exciting new MSc programme coming to DCU from September. The MSc in Insight and Innovation has been designed by DCU in partnership with Bord Bia and offers a formal learning and development programme in insight-led innovation that will enhance and develop the innovation capability within Ireland’s food, beverage and horticulture sector.

This programme represents a significant investment in talent development by Bord Bia.  In developing the programme with Bord Bia, our vision is to help forge the next generation of world-class innovators to join the food, horticultural and beverage sectors who will use their creativity, talent and skill to drive sustainable, scalable, profitable and insight-led growth for their host companies and for their industry.

This 18-month programme combines study and work placement in a Bord Bia company. It begins with an intensive academic element, with modules taught by experienced lecturers and subject-matter experts.  Following this, the focus moves to experiential learning, as participants are onboarded into placements at the headquarters of Ireland’s leading food companies where they work side-by-side with leading insight and innovation practitioners.

This combination of academic content and work placement enables participants to directly apply the insights gained from DCU Business School coursework to their placement company, with immediate and direct benefit to host companies.

Innovation and the Arts

A new book entitled Innovation and the Arts: The Value of Humanities Studies for Business (Published by Emerald) features a chapter by Dr. Peter Robbins on the topic of how business can benefit from collaborating with the arts.

Ethical Perspectives on Artificial Intelligence: New Risks, New Opportunities

On February 27th, Dr. Marta Rocchi took part in a panel on "Ethical Perspectives on Artificial Intelligence: New Risks, New Opportunities" organized during the DCU Ethics and Privacy Week. The panel was moderated by Dr. Brian Davis (ADAPT and DCU School of Computing), and it developed as a dialogue between Dr. Marta Rocchi and Dr. Joss Moorkens (ADAPT and DCU SALIS). Dr. Robert Brennan, ADAPT and DCU School of Computing, organized the event. 

Automatic recognition of emotions


Machine learning is on the rise and is being applied to the fundamentals of humans’ activity. As such the automatic recognition of human's emotions from their facial expressions is used not only for marketing applications but also for more sensitive cases such as recruitment, wellbeing monitoring or even the automotive industry. However, besides ethical and privacy issues, there is currently no standard guaranteeing the accuracy of these systems. For these reasons, the “AI now institute” has suggested a ban on the use of this technology for certain applications. With some colleagues from UK and Germany, Dr Damien Dupré performed the largest benchmark to date comparing different providers of automatic emotion recognition with the recognition of human observers. Their results show that overall the accuracy of the providers’ technology is significantly lower than human observers.  Damien's research has been cited in a recent blog post from digitaltrends: “Machines are getting freakishly good at recognizing human emotions” for which Damien gave a short interview. Damien will also present the results of this study at the CX Emotion conference in London in June 2020 entitled “Disenchantment with Emotion Recognition Technologies: Implications and Future Directions”.

Research Seminar - Prof. Kevin Scannell - Neural Language Modelling

On February 6th we were delighted to welcome Kevin Scannell, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Saint Louis University as part of our research seminar series. Kevin's talk covered recent developments in language modeling for Irish and Scottish Gaelic that make use of the special linguistic properties of these languages.
The state-of-the-art for a number of important English-language NLP tasks has improved rapidly with the introduction of neural network methods over the last 5-10 years. While these approaches have been successfully applied to many other languages, progress in the field as a whole has been measured by advancing the state-of-the-art for English. This has led to models that require huge amounts of training data in order to achieve reasonable performance, and this can present difficulties for languages which have limited resources or which are typologically very different from English.
Upcoming events

2nd ECMCRC Summer School on Behavioral and Neuroscientific Research for Economics, Finance and Accounting

The Irish Institute of Business will host the 2nd ECMCRC Summer School on Behavioral and Neuroscientific Research for Economics, Finance and Accounting The aim of the summer school is to offer students the opportunity to acquire both theoretical and practical knowledge of the key theories, instruments and techniques currently used to undertake high-impact behavioral and neuroscientific research projects in the fields of economics, finance and accounting. This Summer School has been explicitly designed to attract and create practical value for Ph.D. students and post-doctoral researchers, and to seed future research collaborations among participants. Hands-on sessions focusing on the use of neurobio feedback, eye tracking and data analytics will follow more theoretical lectures which will provide attendees with a grounding in behavioral economics and finance, experimental economics and neuroeconomics. Each day of the Summer School will conclude with a short keynote presentation aiming to provide examples of industry applications of behavioral research, advice on how to design and publish high-impact research and establish and manage an academic career.

WHEN: July 6th – 9th, 2020

WHERE: DCU Business School, Dublin City University

Find out more

4th ECMCRC Workshop

The European Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre (ECMCRC) is pleased to announce the 4th ECMCRC Workshop which will be hosted by the Irish Institute of Digital Business (IIDB) and DCU Business School. The Workshop will take place at DCU Business School on July 10th, 2020. Submit your papers/abstracts by the deadline of April 30, 2020.

WHEN: July 10th, 2020

WHERE: DCU Business School, Dublin City University

Find out more
dotLAB Radio
dotLAB Radio is a podcast series brought to you by the DCU Business School and the Irish Institute of Digital Business (IIDB). The series brings you insights into how digital technologies are transforming business and society.
Topics which we have covered so far this year include the future of cybersecurity, the future of work, Ireland as a talent hub, digital disruption in the music industry, blockchain, digital disruption in financial services, peer-to-peer lending, light as a service and business innovation.
With 13 episodes available so far, now is a perfect time to subscribe and catch up. If you have ideas for a topical digital business podcast related to your domain of expertise then please fill out the short form below.  
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