December Newsletter 2023

Blog Post: December 2023 Newsletter

Regulars, Newbies and all others in-between.

Great Scott! (other antarctic explorers are available) it’s nearly Christmas. Not quite sure how that’s happened, but the chilly temperatures and permanent rain (South coast here…i know i know, snow everywhere else, yawn!) would suggest winter must have arrived. I hope 2023 has been all you hoped it would be? - ours has been pretty busy with stuff (see previous newsletters) and 2024 promises to be packed with new stuff and even a few things.

Speaking of things; I would very much like to share a recent voyage of discovery we’ve made into the world of A.I. - yep, that thing that we now see punted, promoted, lauded, criticized and generally talked about everywhere and that, purportedly, will be stealing our jobs, partners and children in due course - though perhaps not our lunch.

Now, to set out our stall and approach, we’re not convinced that it will be the end of society as we know it (at least as long as the nuclear football remains analogue - I mean, it is, right!?), but also A.I. cannot be ignored. So, to the (brief) voyage.

First stop - what the hell is A.I. and how is it different from general/rule based automation!? (you know, the IF, WHEN, AND stuff) - The answer seemed pretty simple. It can analyse and crucially remember stuff (aka ‘learn’ / or to use another ostensibly simple but actually conceptually challenging term; use machine learning), build its own logic and modify future outcomes/behavior/deliverables accordingly. Whereas rule based automation cannot. With me so far?

Ok - goodie, soooooo, what can we do with it and how does it apply to us. Well, here’s the (somewhat) interesting part. Firstly, what part of your business is automated already (and could perhaps therefore be improved through smarter tech), what aspects are manual but *could* be replaced by smart automation and ultimately which bits require partial or full human input and how does all that fit together? This is quite the challenge for most of us I suspect - not least factoring in the critical bang for buck argument, but one we have decided to grapple with.

One of the first deliverables of this almost existential conundrum (what, how, why, if etc) can be read about in the ‘new’ section below and I suspect more developments of a tech nature to follow in future editions.

Sorry, dear readers, for the divergence from the UK Public Services and indeed Yuletide festivities, but honestly I’m a bit of a geek and it all seemed quite interesting to me.

Almost forgot, we’re shut from lunchtime on Dec 22nd and reopen on Tuesday 2nd of Jan - as ever, our data driven services and subscription will remain live and available for the duration and someone will be monitoring emails - probably… they will, honestly.


Much work down on Housing recently that we could mention, but going to save that up (hopefully with a shiny new report) for the Spring edition. With yuletide brevity in mind (yes it’s a thing) the best representation of the work done in the last 90 days by the research team can be seen below:



As referenced above, the first of our foray into smart automation land has seen the birth/release/inception (insert noun of choice) of Oscar Bot - some of you may have heard him (him/it/they - gosh, I thought the software was challenging, etiquette for tech based pronouns please?) already with various updates, messages and useful bits of information. He has been given a slightly cynical and world weary flavour with a touch of humour and undertones and oppression - so in other words, based on your author. A bio and more info will transpire in due course, but meantime I wanted to give our more regular users the heads up that our new support and information bot will likely be in touch - he seems to prefer email - probably waiting for the advent of wireless thought manipulation.

In other news, a couple of new documents fresh from our new platform that might be of interest.

Regulars, Newbies and all others in-between.

PSN Media Pack

New Content Syndication Pack


That wraps things up for this edition and 2023 and until A.I. generates our newsletters (Thank God I hear you say, can that be now? - they will be shorter, more comprehensible and actually useful then) I look forward to being in touch next year.

Meantime, thank you as ever to everyone for contributing, reading, using, browsing or buying stuff we create and - most importantly - I hope you and yours have a lovely Christmas and here’s to 2024!

Keep warm and well

James and team at Oscar


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