Nowadays being online means generating a gigantic amount of data. Online content and activity, such as Facebook likes, Google searches, bookings and online purchases, are translated into bits of information that are stored, analysed and possibly used for profiling and advertising. At Eticas Foundation, we’ve decided to launch a global challenge to collect stories about some of the social impacts of this kind of data collection.
Nos vamos a Madrid!
Our challenge has been selected as one of the 6 projects of VISUALIZAR 18: Personal Data an international workshop that develops data visualisation projects. It was set up in 2007 by José Luis de Vicente and it investigates the social, cultural and artistic implications of data culture, and it puts forward methodologies to make them more understandable and to open up avenues for participation and criticism. It will take place from Friday, September 21st to Friday, October 5th at MediaLab Prado, a citizens’ laboratory that serves as a place of encounter for the production of open cultural projects.
DATA AND ALGORITHMS
Until recently, media reports have mainly covered the consequences of bad algorithms. Far less attention has been paid to the quality and accuracy of data that actually feeds those algorithms. Thanks to artificial intelligence, algorithms can be trained by and learn from data. But what an algorithm does depends a lot on how good the data is. We’re interested in this first step of the process, when data is collected, pre-processed and stored. It’s at this stage that corrupted, out of date, useless or illegal data can become part of the operations performed by algorithms and lead to problematic results. In this way, bad data plays an important part of all kinds of decision-making processes and outcomes. From banking to health to social services or education, bad data can have an important impact on our most fundamental rights. At the bottom of this page you’ll find a reading list filled with concrete examples of how bad data is already impacting society.
HEALTH CARE AND BAD DATA
It’s funny that there are so many successful appeals against disability assessments – it’s as if there is something wrong with the system
BAD DATA AND BUSINESS
The cost of bad data – Bad data has bankrupted major companies, started wars and even caused entire civilizations to disappear
BAD DATA AND JUSTICE