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Published on May 15, 2017
Prof. Michal Kosinski (PL), Assistant Professor of Organizational Behaviour, Stanford University Prof. Deb Roy (CA), Director, Laboratory for Social Machines (LSM), MIT Media Lab, and Chief Media Scientist, Twitter Topic Leader: Prof. Miriam Meckel (DE), Publisher, WirtschaftsWoche
The good old days of keeping our most intimate personality traits a secret are over. Since Cambridge Analytica hit the headlines after the US elections, the public has become aware what big data analysis of our digital footprint can reveal about us. Whether we like it or not, algorithmic methods are able to predict from our online behaviour, and to a very high accuracy, who we are, how happy we are, how intelligent we are, our sexual orientation, and much more – although we might never have shared digitally any data linked to our traits. Microtargeting is claimed to be the new miracle when it comes to marketing campaigns or even the guidance of voters who have not decided whom to vote for. Companies such as Cambridge Analytica buy data from various sources to draw a detailed picture of the people relevant to the needs of Cambridge Analytica’s customers. One might say that this brings the advantage of avoiding random advertisement, but rather have it tailor-made. Yet, the potential to directly influence people cannot be denied.
In this session, the mastermind behind the method of Cambridge Analytica, Professor Michal Kosinski, and a leading expert in big data and social machines research, Professor Deb Roy, will shed light on how we can better understand the potential of big data methods and how they contribute to the improvement of societies, rather than frighten us.