The other Big DataMain Theme
In the last couple of years, “big data” has attracted a lot of attention in popular, industrial, and academic media. The big data paradigm is made possible by the exponential advancement in the availability, storage, and processing capacity of data. Big data analytics extract patterns from the data; these patterns are used to help predict future behavior (at an individual, collective, organizational level etc.). To date, the majority of big data efforts lie on the technical side, driven primarily by the goals of enterprises.
In contrast, our project focuses on the intersection of big data and people. We are exploring new possibilities for interactive technologies by approaching big data from the users’ perspective, that is, focusing on the human, personal, and local aspects of big data. Currently, most big data efforts see people either as passive consumers or passive producers of data. We have been investigating more active roles for users.
The following questions guide our investigations: Can big data change the way we interact with technologies and with each other? How do ordinary (non-technical experts) make sense of big data? How do we make the data actionable in ways different than those currently pursued? What if ordinary people decided which data to combine and what patterns the systems should look for? Can we give people the means to manipulate data or to influence the aggregation and computation?
Project leader: Lucian Leahu
[picture by Charlie Loyd]