November 3, 2016 at 11:02 #633
Here we are! Ready to start the selection of Torino University attendees to SVST
Ready to start discussion?January 11, 2017 at 10:12 #696
To start the year, you can find the preliminary program of Silicon Valley Study Tour August 2017 (final program only at early August)February 2, 2017 at 9:17 #715
Big data as a propeller for enormous change ( positive or not…will see..) of our life .
Psychologist Michal Kosinski developed a method to analyze people in minute detail based on their Facebook activity. Did a similar tool help propel Donald Trump to victory?
Two reporters from Zurich-based Das Magazin went data-gathering. Read this story…just a beginning of an Era.March 6, 2017 at 21:31 #745
This is a very interesting article. I was aware of Big Data and their potential,
but I did’t know it could reach such an incredible yet fearsom level of precision in personality profiling.
Still I wonder. Isn’t this use of personal data illegal? I mean, from what i can grasp from this article,
Cambridge Analytica used personal data without the consent of the individuals the data belonged to.
Maybe – and I quote – “in the US, almost all personal data is for sale”. But in other States?
I’m not an expert, so I’m sorry if my question sounds stupid or trivial.March 6, 2017 at 22:55 #746
This topic is really interesting. I’m in some way fascinated by the power of big data analysis, it’s just ubelievable the accuracy that can be reached in profiling people, only looking at Facebook likes. This article made me realize, even more than i thought, that we should read with critical spirit almost every news, every article and political message that appears on social networks, in order to protect our judgement and our way of thinking from other people’s influences.March 6, 2017 at 23:34 #747
Andrea Malgaroli, I think the problem that can be highlighted by the article isn’t about protecting our way of thinking from others, but that every personal information (judgement and way of thinking but also other private data) is already known, or can be, by some company, and through a medium we can’t block or avoid. It can remind deeply of “1984” by George Orwell or pratically any other dystopian novel.
I’m not saying it’s completely negative, but shows an important level of power over people. The power to predict people’s actions. And not only a group of hundreds or thousands of them, but single individuals.March 6, 2017 at 23:59 #748
Lately we have heard a lot about big data and data analysis, but i didn’t realize it was so powerful. Kosinski’s study is really interestingand I can’t blame him for his curiosity. Actually studying people behaviour through big data analysis can cause a huge controversy: “Is it right to use big data to study someone, finding out if he/she has violent behaviour, or maybe propensity to pedophilia, or just what type of car would i like to buy, or just if i’m falling in love with my neighbour?” even more important: “How am I going to use this data?”
I think Big Data is exactly the type of technology that could lead us to something like “Minority Report” (2002, Steven Spielberg), where you could just be arrested because you could commit a crime, or something like “Psycho-Pass” (2012, Gen Urobuchi), where your behaviour and an “OCEAN” test determines what kind of job you were made for, who should you marry or if you could just be a criminal. I know these are just fiction, but reading the extention of what analysing Big Data can do, just brought these examples to my mind.
Anyway, sorry if i repeat myself, but Kosinski’s stydy is really awesome! I just think it’s impossible to say if it’s use is healthful or not. For now, I agree with Andrea: We have to be very critical on all the information we gather on social networks or even when we are just navigating. We need to be sure that we are thinking with our own heads.March 7, 2017 at 8:30 #751
Carlos, I had exactly the same examples come to mind. I’m also happy to have found a Psycho Pass fan. There is also an episode of the tv series “Black Mirror” representing a possible like-based society.
I don’t think these kind of examples are that far off from reality. But is that a good or a bad thing? Like you underlined, this kind of use of Big Data can help society in some ways, but at the expense of every form of privacy.March 7, 2017 at 9:26 #752
@leonardo, i think that we can actually block, or at least reduce the power of that medium (when it’s used for negative purposes, such as influencing people or collecting personal informations), using it carefully, being aware of this danger. For me it isn’t exactly like a distopian novel, where everythingn is deeply unpleasant, controlled and where people are heavily oppressed, i think that we can actively do something to avoid being manipulated.March 7, 2017 at 9:44 #753
@Andrea, actually it would not necessarily be an “oppressive” world. Obviously there would be a huge amount of people that would feel safely on a world where they know that everyone is watched, preventing terrorism, violence etc. And there would also be the “freedom fighters”, fighting for their privacy and freedom… There will always be this kind of conflict where people feel their rights are in danger… The problem is that each person has a subjective view of their rights… In this case, some can think they have the right to feel protected, and some can think they have the right to don’t be analyzed on every action or thought they make.
From the article, we see that actually on the US, there are already people that make money selling the Big Data because there they have almost free access to it. And we can already see the first use of it for manipulate thoughts (even if they Cambridge Analytica keeps denying it). I think we all agree on just one thing: we meet to be alert and actively do something to avoid being manipulated.March 7, 2017 at 9:49 #754
@andreamalgaroli You’re right about that, I agree. But what I think is the problem, or at least, what I see as a problem, is the fact that a company or any private group of people use personal data and practically the individual’s beliefs and ideas to control him (or in general the society) without him knowing it. How can someone avoid being controlled if he isn’t aware of already being controlled?
And I don’t believe the future of society is an unpleasant dystopia. But there are pros and cons that can’t be ignored.March 7, 2017 at 10:31 #755
Exactly @leonardo, i agree with you on the fact that ignorance and lack of awareness make people more likely to be influenced and controlled by others. I totally agree with @carlosfilho ‘s analysis of the dystopian society, but in my comment i was trying to see it from a more objective point of view. Etymologically, “dystopian” is the exact opposite of utopian, an imaginary world where every part of the society works perfectly and in harmony.
I found an interesting article that shows a wider scenery of big data, introducing (but not analysing) possibile positives applications of this tool. I don’t agree with all the things that the author wrote, explecially, i disagree with his generalization of billionares as evil people.
This is the link to the article:March 7, 2017 at 10:49 #758
@andrea That is an interesting article, even though it focuses more on the political aspects and possible uses of Big Data. But surely I don’t mean to say that the future awaiting us is for certain a dystopia. But it highly depends on how this and other types of methods are used. Of course it could lead to something close to an utopia. But the opposite is also a fearsome possibility.March 7, 2017 at 10:49 #759
Obviously there are tons of good reasons to use big data… It could give a better contact between people and the government, where in this moment there’s a huge distance (I mean after you vote for someone the only way people can show if they agree or disagree are through strikes or some other kinds of manifestations), but what if people could actively participate on how the government behaves? The government could have an almost instantly backup on the decisions they have to make and that would be awesome. Maybe in a place like the US now where information flies freely it’s still not possible, but as I said before, the use of big data can really be awesome… If used in the right way and in the right hands… Great article @andrea 😁
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