Viewing entries in

Athlete 2.0

Athlete 2.0

It was great to be in Lausanne again last week for #TheSpot2019, a new conference bringing together the worlds of sport and technology. My keynote was focused on the connections between biology and digital technologies, you can read the manuscript over at Medium

Digital Health in the House of Commons

Digital Health in the House of Commons

Last week, the Digital Health Generation project I have been working on with Emma Rich, Sarah C. Lewis, and Deborah Lupton had a major event in the House of Commons, sponsored by Lisa Cameron MP.

The evening was a culmination of our work over this last year and aimed to kickstart a conversation about how the future of healthcare ensures that young people are at the heart of plans. 

Here are some of the slides from the evening.


The Digital Health Generation

The Digital Health Generation

In February, we ran our first webinar focused on the Digital Health Generation. Find out about what we are investigating for this Wellcome Trust funded project, trying to make sense of what digital health means to young people. Here's what we covered.

Google Glass  - my research

Google Glass - my research

I am in the process of completing an article and am now thinking about to which journal I will submit it, so I thought I'd put out a teaser of its structure and seek opinions/interest. It is broadly about the future of wearable/implantable technology and takes the period of working with Google Glass as an insight into this world, drawing on a range of datasets. It is based on 2 years of work with Glass from 2013-2015 and the article is likely to be about 10,000 words. I'm expecting to finish it over the summer and am interested in editors who might like to receive a submission. If that's you, please get in touch. And here's a link to some of the more informal experiments, along with a talk I gave at Google HQ about the subject.



Ok Glass?  
The Aspirations and Anxieties of the
Google Glass Generation. 


This article explores the two-year period in which Google Glass was promoted publicly and released commercially on an Open Beta ‘explorer’ basis (2013-2015). It examines the aspirations of the developers and advocates and the anxieties of of (potential) user groups and eventual reactions of new users, to understand how people imagine the impact of and experience wearable technologies. The research draws on six datasets, which consist of YouTube videos, tweets from Twitter, and video recordings of user, to create an impression of what took place around the emergence of Glass. Together, the datasets create a complex device ethnography of Glass, which speak to its imagined transformative potential and a future where wearable technologies generally, which foreground a new research agenda for digital culture scholars.



The Limits of Digital Design


Background on the Google Glass Experiments

How Glass Worked

What Could Glass Do?


What Google Wanted from Glass

How ‘Explorers’ Used Glass

How Customers Imagined Glass

How Parody Explained User Anxieties

What People Saw Through Glass

The First 10 Seconds of Glass Experience


Google Glass: The Story so Far

Conclusion: Was Google Glass a Failure?

Digital Health

Digital Health

Last week, I was in Bath for an ESRC seminar about Digital Health and the Older Generation, set up by Cassie Phoenix. Within my closing talk for the day, I was able to get into the many ways that healthcare is being transformed through digital systems, mobile culture, artificial intelligence, and ingestible sensors. The latest article I wrote on this was published in Health Sociology Review and is with my colleague Dr Emma Rich, with whom we presently have a Wellcome Trust grant to explore how young people use digital environments to make sense of health.

Designing Sport's BioDigital Future #DSI17

Designing Sport's BioDigital Future #DSI17

Today, I am speaking at the Digital Sport Innovation event at Hotel Football. My talk focused on a proposition to create an Augmented Reality Gym, which brings together a range of interests I have in eSport, mHealth, Cities, Events and social media. Here's a glimpse into what that might look like.

How artificial intelligence could provide some respite for the NHS

How artificial intelligence could provide some respite for the NHS

How artificial intelligence could provide some respite for the NHS

Emma Rich, University of Bath and Andy Miah, University of Salford

The NHS recently announced plans to trial an artificially intelligent mobile health app to a million people in London. The aim is to help diagnose and treat patients by engaging them in a real time text message conversation which will complement the NHS 111 phone based service (which was criticised by the Care Quality Commission watchdog). The app’s designers, Babylon Healthcare Ltd, use algorithms to make initial diagnoses which are then followed up with human consultations. It has already received a glowing CQC evaluation.

The app is likely to provoke a mixed response, with enthusiastic technophiles up against those concerned that more technology means a less human healthcare service. Yet, with the NHS being described as suffering from a humanitarian crisis, and with a growing healthcare burden and limited resources, some smart solutions are needed. It is hard to deny that problems of limited funding are enduring features of this unique public service. Perhaps AI has the answer.

In fact, providing effective healthcare is always a combination of systematised technological efficiency combined with patient centred human care. Polarised views on technology are often not helpful. It’s also necessary to recognise how this approach to healthcare is part of a wider technical revolution in which connected objects in the Internet of Things will change everything from healthcare to traffic maintenance.

The NHS app is really simple to use and has been likened to using the social messaging service WhatsApp – but with one crucial difference: you are chatting with a computer, not a person. Once the app is downloaded, you log your basic health information, and then start explaining your symptoms. The robotic “responder” will say things like: “I just need a few details from you before we get started,” and “nearly there” to keep the conversation going. After a more detailed exchange, it might come to a conclusion along these lines:

Ok so your symptoms don’t sound urgent, but I think they require further investigation. Make sure you arrange a consultation with a GP within the next two weeks. If left, symptoms like yours can become more serious, so book now while you remember and I’ll remind you closer to the time. If things change in the meantime and you become more unwell, speak to a doctor as soon as you can.

This digital diagnosis service intends to provide an additional communication tool between the NHS and patients. It it part of a broader ecosystem of digital health services which include online health tracking. Also, the app takes advantage of the fact that some people these days are likely to be more comfortable chatting by text than they are with talking on the phone.

This digital phenomenon is driven by the promise of a wider technological fix to social problems. Applications within healthcare could bring about big wins for society, where the functionality of the device is made all the more efficient by the aggregation of “big data” that it generates. Tech firm Babylon is joined by other big players seeking to do similar things, such as Google’s Deep Mind, which wants to mine NHS data to to enable earlier diagnoses for example, or to achieve more effective monitoring of treatments.

At the world’s largest tech expo in Las Vegas at the start of 2017, home AI systems have been one of the biggest hits. So perhaps the NHS has found an intelligent solution at just the right time. People may now be far more willing to have a “relationship” with an attentive machine than a call centre drone.

Digital doctor

Driving these developments is the assumption that, within a digital knowledge economy, these forms of communication can offer more neutral and accurate responses, circumventing human error. Yet, scholars within the emerging field of critical digital health studies suggest that algorithms must be understood as part of a complex network of interconnections between human and non-human actors. A recent study comparing physician and computer diagnostic accuracy revealed that doctors “vastly outperformed” algorithms

So we need to ask some key questions about the assimilation of AI into healthcare. How do people make sense of the list of possible diagnoses they receive from the machine? Will people follow the advice, or trust it? How will AI need to be tailored to accommodate human variation, by geography, capacity, or cultural identity. Another important aspect of this trial will be the consideration given to the backgrounds of the users. Given enduring concerns about inequalities of digital access and digital literacy, trials for future digital health tech need to be conducted amongst those populations with limited resources, experiences, and technological infrastructure.

Perhaps the biggest question we face in a world where ever more of our data is locked up in the mobile app environment, is over the proprietary and privacy of our data. How can we ensure that we have the freedom to move our health data around, over time, and ensure that it is safe and secure? We may need a new Bill of Health Data Rights to underpin and limit their exploitation of our data, and work on this must start now.

The Conversation

Emma Rich, Reader, Department for Health, University of Bath and Andy Miah, Chair in Science Communication & Future Media, University of Salford

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Sport 2.0 at the World Aquatics Convention #FWAC2016

Sport 2.0 at the World Aquatics Convention #FWAC2016

This week, I've been in Canada for a couple of nights, speaking at the FINA World Aquatics Convention. It was an amazing event really and a lovely experience. My panel focused on the digital experience, and we had some fantastic experience among the speakers, which considered of Claude Ruibal (formerly YouTube, GoPro), Peter Diamond Executive Vice-President, Programming, NBC Olympics, and Will Bastin (GMS Manager, FINA) 

At the awards gala, Michael Phelps was given a lifetime legend award and it really feels like a special year for swimming. With Phelps making history as the most decorated Olympian of all time, and concluding his career in Rio, it was a really touching setting, quite low-key - compared to the Olympics - and, as he put it, a feeling of being among "family". I think a lot of emotions were quite high and it was especially nice to see him here, after having last seen him win gold in Rio, in a very different setting.

Here is Phelps at the event, followed by a shot I took during the Rio Games. Slide screenshots from my presentation follow, which was the first outing of my new book, Sport 2.0 for The MIT Press. A web resource will follow soon! 

The moment captured in this photograph that I took in Rio actually appeared in the Phelps video showreel of his career.

And at the ceremony...

Finally, my slides...

Making VR Matter

Making VR Matter

As part of our Creative Entrepreneurs event at Salford University, i took part in a panel on how virtual reality can be used to enrich a business. Among the panelists was the amazing Robin McNicholas of Marshmallow Laser Feast and Sarah Jones, a leading influener in VR.

I talked about our Virtual Chernobyl project, which brought people into a place that is uninhabitable, taking them through content that is captured as data by one of our leading researchers. This fusion of communication and research is crucial to us.

At the end, we had a go at doing the mannequin challenge too :)

What's next for digital sport

What's next for digital sport

For the BBC Digital Cities week at University of Salford, I gave a talk on VR, which looked at the cross over between what cities are doing with digital and how sports are evolving into these spaces. The BBC's Academy came along to produce an interview, captured by Charles Miller here.

Re-Thinking Journalism

Re-Thinking Journalism

Today, I am in Switzerland, giving a talk about how to utilize social media to build a reputation as a researcher. My take on this is to think about how best to utilize the range of creative media around us, as academics, and to explore the overlap between journalism and academia in that pursuit.

This configuration allows us to develop a holistic approach to nurturing reputation, with community building, and awareness raising, while ensuring that we don't treat the media as a static entity.

We need to ensure that our use of media - social or otherwise - is not just about instrumental values, but about co-creating and innovating as researchers. 


eSport at Salford University #eSportsUoS16

eSport at Salford University #eSportsUoS16

Today at Media City, we have our first eSport conference, with some really amazing speakers, who are thought leaders and doers in the industry. It's such a privilege to have to have such excellent folk to our place to plan the future!


eSports and the Future of Sport

The University of Salford Centre for Sports Business, in collaboration with The Digital Cluster (part of CARe), and World Gaming Executives is hosting a one-day symposium on the 2nd November 2016 at the University of Salford at MediaCityUK on eSports and the Future of Sport.

This event will include talks by leading academics in the field, and those working in the management and provision of eSports. This will explore the rapidly developing business of eSports, and consider its relationship and synergies with the changing nature of more traditional sports.

The event is free and open to anyone interested eSports, the business of digital gaming, digital media, or the changing nature of professional sports.

Book Tickets Here

Hashtag: #eSportsUoS16



930-1030: Registration, and welcome coffee

1030-1045: Welcome (Chris Brady, Centre for Sports Business, University of Salford)

1045-1200: Session 1: The Future of Sport?

  • Garry Crawford (University of Salford)

  • Andy Miah (University of Salford)

  • Trevor Keane (Celtic eSports League)

1200-100: Keynote 1: The Development of eSports

  • Chester King (CEO International eGames Group)

100-200: Lunch /FIFA with Kieran 'Kez' Brown (Manchester City eSports)

200-300: Session 2: Regulating eSports

  • Christopher Paget (Sheridans, Media Law)

  • Dr Mark Johnson (York Digital Hub) & Dr Jamie Woodcock (LSE)

300-330 Coffee

330-430: Keynote 2: Panel on The Opportunities of eSports

  • Dominic Sacco (British eSports Association), Carleigh Morgan (King’s College London), Malph Minns (Strive Sponsorship), Josh Williams (NUEL)

5: Drinks Reception

Why academics should care about social media

Why academics should care about social media

Accompanying my A-Z of Social Media for Academia re-launch, in partnership with the Times Higher Education, I published a 2 page article on the value of social media. I will also have monthly updates on social media for the magazine, so keep an eye out for that!

The A-Z of Social Media for Academia - Re-launch

The A-Z of Social Media for Academia - Re-launch

Today, I re-launch the A-Z of Social Media in partnership with Times Higher Education. We have produced a double page feature in the print magazine, and I'm going to be working on a monthly column for inclusion, which will have updates.

The online version within their website will still have the list in full, with any updates, and we are working on a dynamic function within it, to make it more engaging and useful. This is a great way for the list to reach out even further and I'm really excited to be working on something more regularly for THE!

The resource can be found here

For citation purposes, please use

Miah, A. (2016) The A-Z of Social Media for Academia, Times Higher Education, Available: [Available Online]

Academia 2.0

Academia 2.0

Yesterday, I went to Warwick University to give a talk about using social media for research and impact. It was an event organized by Luke Robert Mason, focused on young scholars mostly. The question that I am often asked at such meetings is how much time I spend doing social media. The answer is usually that it is hard to quantify, but that it's not just time spent communicating.

My time spent using social media is time spent doing the kinds of things that we need to do as academics, to stay ahead of the curve. A lot of it is about discovery - finding out about new projects, initiatives, headlines, research, networks - which feeds into wider processes of research that I undertake. Usin social media means I also use email much less than I used to. Instant messaging through WhatsApp or Facebook are now critical ways for me to contact students and colleagues.

However, the main reasons I use social media a lot have to do with the underlying principles of its ethos - it is user centred, so you can decide what you want to say, rather than rely on the media to interpret it for you, it is the place where people are discovering learning opportunities - and it allows us to grow our communities more effectively. 

All of these things are crucial to doing research and so using social media is a no brainer for me.

here are the slides



Sport 2.0 #sportfuture

Sport 2.0 #sportfuture

This week, I am in Lausanne for the Sport Future Rendezvous 2016 conference, organized by good friend Professor Jean-Loup Chappelet at the University of Lausanne. I took the chance to talk about the biodigital interface, the growth of e-sport, biotechnological change, ingestible sensors, and virtual realities. But the big controversy, as always, was my views around doping, which did hijack the futures debate a little. In any case, here's my presentation.


 Thanks to Michel Filliau for the photograph.

What will virtual reality sport experiences feel like?

What will virtual reality sport experiences feel like?

This week, I was over in Dublin for a Virtual Reality conference organized by Professor Timothy Jung in collaboration with the Dublin Institute of Technology. I covered all things virtual and sport, here's what I said....