Big Data, Machine Learning, and the Social Sciences


Discovering finer-grained signals, however, such as those often associated with data about minorities, can be much harder. Luciano Floridi, a philosopher, addresses this point in a recent paper of his. He says,

The real, epistemological problem with big data is small patterns. […] [But] small patterns may be significant only if properly aggregated. So what we need is a better understanding of which data are worth preserving.

In other words, fine-grained patterns may not be readily visible using existing computational techniques. He continues,

And this is a matter of grasping which questions are or will be interesting. […] [T]he game will be won by those who ‘know how to ask and answer questions.’

Again, this underscores the need for social scientists, who are trained to ask and answer important questions about society; however, it also highlights one of my biggest concerns about some of the big data research and development coming out of the computer science community.

via Big Data, Machine Learning, and the Social Sciences | Medium.

Max Headroom: Oral History


20 Minutes into the Future kicked off an extensive franchise, and Max became a singular ’80s pop culture phenomenon that represented everything wonderful and horrible about the decade. Max hosted music video shows; Max interviewed celebrities; Max hawked New Coke; Max Headroom became US network television’s very first cyberpunk series. Max was inescapable — and then almost just as quickly as he had appeared, he was gone.

[Read the whole thing at the link below]


via Max Headroom: the definitive history of the 1980s digital icon | The Verge.