Tag Archives: Big Data

Alan Turing Institute workshop on Algorithm Society

ati-site-banner-2xOn February 17th and 18th the Alan Turing Institute held a two day ‘scientific scoping workshop’ on Algorithm Society with the tag-line: “If data is the oil of the 21st century then algorithms are the engines  that animate modern economies and societies by providing  reflection, analysis and action on our activities. This workshop will look at how algorithms embed in and transform economies and societies and how social and economic forces shape the creation of algorithms.

The workshop started with three talks covering FinTech (by Prof. Donald MacKenzie), human attitudes/expectations and willingness to use/trust algorithmic decisions (by Berkeley Dietvorst) and a proposal for a “Machine Intelligence Commission” to investigate and interrogate algorithm bias and compliance with regulations (by Geoff Mulgan).

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Quiet preparations for a Care.Data re-start?

CareDataFor those of us who might not be in the UK, or have too many other things to think about, a brief reminder. Care.Data is the name of the programme in the UK that aims to bring together into a central database the patient data that is currently held distributed through the country at each separate GP surgery.

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Dial Facebook ‘M’ for …

Dial_MThis week Facebook launched its bid for capturing and building the market in personal digital assistant services (for now only available to select groups of people in San Francisco). Facebook’s ‘M‘ interacts with the user via the Facebook Messenger app, but as with the competitors Siri (Apple), Now (Google), Cortana (Microsoft) and Echo (Amazon), the serious work is done through cloud services.

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Hidden costs of personalized information services?

RecommenderSystemPersonalized information filtering by online search engines, social media, news sites and retailers represents a natural evolution in the development towards ever more finely tuned interaction with the users. Since the internet provides an overwhelming quantity of information on most topics, information overload has become one of the main concerns for users. Perceived quality of information services is therefore strongly determined by the ease with which the user can obtain some information that satisfies their current desires. For many of the most highly success internet service, like Google, Amazon.com, YouTube, Netflix and TripAdvisor, the recommender system is a key element in their success over rival services in the same sector. Some, like Netflix, openly acknowledge this even to the extent of awarding large prizes for anyone that can improve their recommender system.

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Dot Everyone

http://www.doteveryone.org.uk/
http://www.doteveryone.org.uk/

On March 30th, Martha Lane Fox delivered the annual Richard Dimbleby Lecture on BBC with an eloquent and passionate call for the creation of a new civic institution charged with making the UK the “most digital nation on the plant”. The institution she envisaged, and provisionally named “Dot Everyone”, would boost the needs of the civic, public and non-commercial side of the internet while simultaneously providing the infrastructure, skills and training which private companies are desperately looking for.

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Sensorized smart devices + cloud services = privacy problems?

 The_Telescreen_by_invhelixapplewatch

 

 

 

This week saw the launch of the Apple Watch, one more product in a growing number of “smart” sensor rich devices that promise to make life easier and better by monitoring user behaviour. Will the Apple Watch be a game changer among these devices? Technologically, the only really new sensor included in the watch that wasn’t already in smart phones appears to be the LED based heart rate sensor, which for some reason is receiving relatively little attention in the popular tech magazines. The Apple marketing machine, however, may prove to be a game changer in terms of popularity of such devices. What might the consequences be if wearable, sensorized, tech truly does become the next big consumer trend?

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Ofcom and FTC reports on the Internet of Things

Ofcom_FTC_IoT_reports_smallOn 27 January, Ofcom (The Office of Communications, UK’s communications regulator) released their statement on the Internet of Things. The statement is understandably much discussed in this week’s press but it fails to overshadow an equally important event for the topic: on the same day, the FTC (the Federal Trade Commission, US’s trade regulator) published their report on the issue.  Given that the Internet of Things is expected to greatly impact industry and population life-style at a global level, the two documents merit a much closer reading and comparison than I can accomplish here. Continue reading Ofcom and FTC reports on the Internet of Things

SOCIAL MEDIA ANALYSIS AND MENTAL HEALTH: Putting people at the centre of human data

During this one-day workshop event special focus will be given to the ethics of personal data in both theory and practice and how social medial data (small data) can be accessed and analysed to:

  1. Understand the ways people use social media and what this means for individuals and society.
  2. Understand social phenomena and events expressed in social media by drawing upon social media as a critical, and timely, source of information.
  3. Develop facilities and approaches that are sensitive to the personal nature of human data: Citizen centric approaches.
  4. Promote responsible innovation in the capture, analysis and use of human data.

Programme

9.25-9.30 Dr Elvira Perez (University of Nottingham) – Welcome/Introduction
9.30-10.15 Dr Jens Binder (Nottingham Trent University) – Title: “Self-report does not equal self-report: Levels of personalisation of data in social media research”
10.15-11.00 Professor Karen Douglas (University of Kent) – Title: ‘The social psychology of social media: Individuals, groups and society’

11.00-11.15 Refreshments break

11.15-12.00 Dr Ilka Gleibs (London School of Economics) – Title:‘Turning Virtual Public Spaces into Laboratories:Thoughts on Conducting Online Field Studies UsingSocial Network Site’
12.15-1300 Professor Monica Whitty (University of Leicester) – Title: ‘Collection of Big Data: Re-thinking issues around informed consent’

13.00-1400 Lunch break

14.00-15.00 Parallel sessions
Workshop A. Social Media access and analysis: Citizen centric approaches (Room A07) facilitated by Ansgar Koere (Senior Research Fellow at CaSMa)

Workshop B. Ethics of personal data: Consent, anonymity issues, privacy and trust (Room A06) facilitated by Victoria Betton, (mHealth Programme Director) and Elvira Perez (Senior Research at CaSMa)

15.00-15.15 Refreshments break

15.15- 16.15 Parallel sessions
Workshop A. Social Media access and analysis: Citizen centric approaches (Room A07) facilitated by Ansgar Koere (Senior Research Fellow at CaSMa)

Workshop B. Ethics of personal data: Consent, anonymity issues, privacy and trust (Room A06) facilitated by Victoria Betton, (mHealth Programme Director) and Elvira Perez (Senior Research at CaSMa)

16.15-16.30 Closure

To sign up for the workshop, follow this link to Eventbrite.

Comment on: Striking a balance – Data protection vs Data Driven Innovation

Nesta_DatProtVDDIAs part of the continuing theme on Data Driven Innovation, Nesta published an article on their blog with the title “Striking a balance: Data protection vs. Data Driven Innovation”. In it they call for a debate for establishing the right balance between data protection and data driven innovation, to ensure that the UK economy does not suffer but also that personal data is not misused.

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Update to UN data revolution report: “A World that Counts”

UNreport_AWolrdThatCountsUpdate to our blog item “Recommendations submitted to UN data revolution Expert Advisory Group” from October 28th. The final report from the UN Expert Advisory Group, titles “A World that Counts, mobilising the data revolution for sustainable development” was published in November 2014. While the primary focus of the report is on the potential for using rich data sources to improve local and global policy making towards achieving sustainable development, the report also acknowledges that the data revolution comes with a range of new risks.

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