Augmented Intelligence

impactRI provides QIARK, our patented business intelligence and community-based insights technology; linking thousands of people together – to collectively identify unique ideas and answers to our most challenging commercial, socio-political and scientific questions.

QIARK - Alleviating Silo Mentality

Denise Barnes: November 16 2018

Silo Mentality (1), or the lack of sharing information and knowledge in organisations and workplaces (principal-agent problem), is a matter of increasing concern in medicine (2,3,4) engineering (5), commerce and elsewhere.  

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It is felt that, not only do silos affect efficiency and corporate culture, but they can also:

  • have serious consequences for patients’ outcomes
  • negatively affect patients and their feelings of disenfranchisement 
  • engender divisions between departments, teams, or satellite areas
  • cause repetition of the same tasks
  • give rise to inaccurate or outdated information
  • result in a lack of collaboration 
  • cause ineffective communication
  • make people lose sight of the ‘big picture’
  • lead to accidents in the workplace 
  • encourage entrenchment and ‘blinkered’ approaches

With regard to the final point above and its effect on collaboration, according to Kahneman (6)’…it is much easier, as well as  more enjoyable, to identify and label mistakes of others than to recognise our own’ Kahneman (2011:3). Furthermore, Slovic (7) et al postulates the notion of an ‘affect heuristic’ where people’s emotions affect their beliefs and opinions. However, as Kahneman states:

‘The primacy of conclusions does not mean that your mind is completely closed and that your opinions are wholly immune to information and sensible reasoning.’ Kahneman (2011: 103)

And it is upon this critical argument that QIARK’s use has proven to be crucial. QIARK’s distributed-reasoning process shows that, not only will people set aside their own views – but they will positively evaluate other people’s conflicting opinions over their own – if they consider that the reasoning behind such views is sound. In this way, knowledge transfer occurs. 

This means, and we have the data to support it, that contrary to current perceptions and practices on social media, the ideas or opinions which are put forward the most – by the most people – have consistently been overturned in the QIARK Adjudication phase by the opinions which are considered to have the best reasoning behind them (including the same group that submitted the ideas in the first place). In other words, people will set aside their own biases in favour of opinions which may contradict their own if such opinions are submitted with an intelligent rationale – encouraging collaboration and consensus.

This has huge ramifications for the users of QIARK and its potential for: the breaking of silos, knowledge transfer, proliferation of interdisciplinary teamwork (particularly in medicine and the sciences), and better outcomes.

  1. Ensor, P.S. (1988)
  2. Margaret McCartney: Breaking down the silos walls BMJ 2016;354:i5199
  3. Sonia Adam-Ledunois, Sebastien Damart, Alain Lacroix. The healthcare organisation seen as composed of silos: a relevant representation? EURAM 2018, Jun 2018, Reykjavik, Iceland. 
  4. Buchman S., Evans J.m., Mackinnon M., Gradin S. 7 Wright F.C. Bridging Silos: Delivering integrated care to patients with cancer in Ontario, Canada Pscyho-Ocncology 2018 1’4
  6. Kahneman D (2012) Thinking, Fast and Slow Penguin:London


Denise Barnes: October 17 2018

In the Autumn of 2018, members of our team attended a book-signing event by Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of Nesta, after reading his book, ‘Big Mind’. Finding some synergy with his thinking, we attended his presentation. 

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A few months later we travelled to the Nesta ‘Challenges of our Era’ summit in Milan; where speakers provided insights into Surgical Equity, Agricultural & Food Production, and Data for Good – with delegates such as ourselves attending workshops on crucial topics such as ‘Feeding the 10 Billion’. We made valuable contacts at the summit and also offered the services of QIARK to the Future Food Institute’s Global Mission 2018 (see case studies).

More recently we attended Nesta’s, ‘Designing Collective Intelligence, mobilising humans and machines to address social needs’ event in London where we reconnected with the Collective Intelligence Unit of the Copenhagen Business School. 

QIARK & The Copenhagen Business School

Denise Barnes: October 7 2018

The QIARK team recently visited the Collective Intelligence Unit at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark to introduce them to QIARK. We were very happy to meet Assistant Professor Carina Hallin, Daiana Nielsen and Julian Jensen to give them an appraisal of the groundbreaking QIARK system. 

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We met Asst. Prof. Hallin again at the Nesta, ‘Designing Collective Intelligence – mobilising humans and machines to address social needs’ event and have been invited to work with the Collective Intelligence Unit in the future. 

QIARK - Alleviating Bias

Denise Barnes: September 7 2018

One of the most equitable features of QIARK is that at the point of submitting ideas in response to a question, contributors are completely anonymous for the Adjudication phase. No names are given. No images are given. No previous ‘posts’, ‘thumbs up or down’ or ‘follows’ are given (thus alleviating ‘Halo’ or popularity effects). People simply submit their responses – and their views are considered fairly without biases or personal prejudices of ethnicity, gender, disability, age, religion, ghettoization or more.  

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Even hierarchies do not play a part in the evaluation of ideas -as each view is adjudicated on the merit of how the contributor answered the question that is set, rather than who submitted it. In this way an idea could be entered by a principal director of a company, or a person who may have decades of company-life experience and works on the ‘shop floor’; similarly, in communities such as: schools, associations, local focus groups etc., each view is adjudicated impartially, regardless of leadership roles or position. 

By using QIARK, it really is possible to reduce biases in order to access and utilise the collective intelligence of everyone in your business, group or community.

'Who' is AUDRI?

Denise Barnes: August 7 2018

impactRI have built a new Natural Language Processor developed by our resident linguist, Denise Barnes and CEO, Mark Ricketts…

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We’ve named her ‘AUDRI’…

…and she’s growing…

…and she’s learning.

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