Cities Can't Afford To Be 'Data Poor'

Fundamentally, we are at a critical turning point in terms of how we think about data and how we use data for governments and cities as well as businesses and other institutions.
November 28, 2016, 12pm PST | PabloValerio | @pabl0valerio
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Susan Etlinger, an analyst for the Altimeter group, TED speaker and Big Data guru, gave a much darker view of A.I. and Big Data in an interview to Cities of the Future, during the Smart Cities World Congress in Barcelona.

Susan Etlinger

She talked about recent U.S. presidential elections and the use of Big Data and surveillance:

"[...]suddenly we’ve gone from a government where we had an understanding, a general understanding, particularly after Snowden, of how data was used, to big questions,” she said. “Fundamentally, we are at a critical turning point in terms of how we think about data, and how we use data both for governments and cities, and also for businesses and other institutions.

"There is this sort of assumption that mathematics is inherently neutral. And, in the world of data science, nothing can be further from the truth," she says.

Because of that: “Obviously the US news media, as an example, is full of conspiracy theories right now. The reality is [AI] is an incredibly powerful technology, even more because it is very difficult, and in some cases impossible, to go back and understand exactly what happens in an algorithm, and AI.[...] It could be potentially a very scary time. Some people in the US are talking about ‘living in a post-facts society.’ That is a real danger.

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Published on Saturday, November 26, 2016 in Cities of the Future
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