The Cambridge Analytica Data Apocalypse was Predicted in 2007

The Cambridge Analytica Data Apocalypse was Predicted in 2007

IN THE EARLY 2000s, Alex Pentland was running the wearable computing group at the MIT Media Lab—the place where the ideas behind augmented reality and Fitbit-style fitness trackers got their start. Back then, it was still mostly folks wearing computers in satchels and...
Computational Propaganda: Bots, Targeting And The Future

Computational Propaganda: Bots, Targeting And The Future

A long time ago, when I was working on my Ph.D. research, I learned to use supercomputers to track the complex 3-D motions of gas blown into space by dying stars. Using big computers in this way was still new to lots of researchers in my field and I was often asked,...

Day of Data analyzes role of data in society

Yale celebrated its annual Day of Data on Friday, bringing together researchers, faculty and students from Yale and other institutions across the country to discuss the value of data and information in society. Now in its fifth year, the Day of Data this year centered...
How “Everybody Lies” Might Change the Social Sciences

How “Everybody Lies” Might Change the Social Sciences

Should every social scientist become a data scientist? Is big data really changing everything? Economist and former Google data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz thinks so. Not only is big data altering the landscape of advertising (Google and Facebook) and retail...
Faster big-data analysis

Faster big-data analysis

(Photo Credit: Christine Daniloff, MIT) We live in the age of big data, but most of that data is “sparse.” Imagine, for instance, a massive table that mapped all of Amazon’s customers against all of its products, with a “1” for each product a given customer bought and...