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Discussion question 1:
Media discussion in recent weeks has focused on DATA…. and, while there will likely be changes in the way DATA is collected about our behavior as consumers, citizens, patients, etc.. There are many dimensions to consider as we as consumers, business persons, and citizens participate in making and responding to policies of companies, government organizations, etc.. discuss and find and link other materials….. enjoy!
https://www.ted.com/talks/kenneth_cukier_big_data_is_better_data (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_etlinger_what_do_we_do_with_all_this_big_data (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
https://www.ted.com/talks/tricia_wang_the_human_insights_missing_from_big_data (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
https://www.ted.com/talks/cathy_o_neil_the_era_of_blind_faith_in_big_data_must_end (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Big data has become more and more important and relevant as our technology has grown and expanded and will continue to help us to base decisions. Big data allows us to quantify basically anything, which has also proven to be one of the biggest issues with it as well. As we quantify all this data we sometimes forget that some things can not easily be put into numbers and that information can be just as valuable as loads and loads of data. Tricia Wang talks about this in her TedTalk The human insights missing from big data. She discusses how we tend to value quantifiable data more but how this information most of the time fails to accurately predict what is going to happen next. We are able to do this only when big data is supplemented with human interaction and insights gained from real life and not just information pulled together on the internet. She discussed her experience in China gaining real-life information on the smartphone phenomena and ended up making realizations that never would have been possible just based on numbers.
The article I read also discusses these shortcomings of big data (https://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/07/opinion/eight-no-nine-problems-with-big-data.html (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. ) and brings up another issue. It talks about how big data is able to give us correlations between different things and phenomena but fails to give us information about any kind of causation. This is also an issue that should be addressed and people should be aware of when making conclusions.
Susan Etlinger: What do we do with all this big data?
I really enjoyed this TedTalk because I was able to relate a lot of her discussion to topics that have been covered in my classes at Fisher. The main topic of Susan’s talk was centered around a simple statement regarding data. She explained that, sometimes, we rely too much on data and ignore effective critical thinking. “Does a set of data make you feel more comfortable? More successful? Then your interpretation of it is likely wrong.” To justify the meaning behind this quote Susan used an example from Twitter. Twitter users were exposed to graphic images of an individual’s deteriorating health caused by smoking cigarettes. These graphic images of throat cancers evoked fear among the twitter users that viewed it, but did it actually cause people to stop smoking? Susan concluded that this experiment did not cause people to stop smoking. In order to find an efficient solution to stop individuals from smoking cigarettes, we need to utilize big data, inspiration from examples, and effective critical thinking in order to tackle large issues like big tobacco. Just because we show people graphic images of cancer, does not mean they will stop smoking cigarettes. The biggest thing that I gained from this TedTalk was how we should be treating all of this data. We need to create meaning out of this data rather than just counting numbers and basing assumptions off of genders, age, and where people live. More specifically, we need to understand why people start smoking cigarettes and using tobacco. Then use refined critical thinking to find solutions to mitigate this issue.
I found an article that Susan Etlinger wrote a couple weeks following her TedTalk in San Francisco. Susan was presented with two topics from her viewers. The topics were: How do we extract real insight from data, and how do we do so in a way that actually retains and builds trust? I found her explanation of these discussion topics to be very interesting and have provided the link for anyone interesting in learning more.
https://www.prophet.com/2015/01/new-research-what-do-we-do-with-all-this-big-data/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Discussion question 2:
There has been a lot of discussion about the data that Facebook and other organizations collect on the behavior of users of their platforms.
The ability to gain insights into the behavior or individuals as consumers is a central aspect of modern marketing. Yet, there are tensions that arise from the collection and use of the data.
For this Internet Friday, I would like each of your to think about these issues and consider possible solutions that are a benefit and fair to all involved (Business, Consumers, etc..).
A couple of videos below should help get the conversation started. As always, please seek out additional relevant stories/sites and provide YOUR assessment.
https://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
https://www.ted.com/talks/alessandro_acquisti_why_privacy_matters?referrer=playlist-the_dark_side_of_data (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
https://www.ted.com/talks/del_harvey_the_strangeness_of_scale_at_twitter (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
https://www.ted.com/talks/jennifer_golbeck_the_curly_fry_conundrum_why_social_media_likes_say_more_than_you_might_think (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
https://www.ted.com/talks/marie_wallace_the_ethics_of_collecting_data (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
https://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2018/2/224626-the-war-over-the-value-of-personal-data/fulltext (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
As a marketing major who is interested in working in the consumer insights or market research industry, I found these videos and articles quite fascinating. Through my time at Ohio State as well as from previous work experience, I have become fascinated with data and using it to identify consumer behavior, trends, and purchasing patterns. This past summer I was fortunate to work at Nielsen which collects a lot of data through various services and collects and analyzes this data and makes reports which it then sells to other companies. During my time there I was able to read reports about demographic trends, how people are shifting more to e-commerce and away from traditional brick and mortar, and countless other topics. I find all of this information to be extremely interesting, but these videos definitely show that there are both positives and negatives that can be associated with big data. Obviously, this is a relevant topic in wake of the Cambridge Analytica and facebook scandal that was recently reported by The New York Times, in which 50 million Facebook users had their private information taken without their knowledge or consent. As discussed in the videos, companies can learn a lot about people just from the way the act online, so much so that they can predict when you’re pregnant, or change what shows up on your feed or google searches. To some, this may seem like advancing technology making our lives more convenient, and to others, this may seem like a breach of privacy by big brother always studying what you’re up to when browsing the web. The question becomes when is using all of this data to predict future behavior of people cross the line, what is the limit? In the Cambridge Analytica example, it is reported the firm collected the data in order to form reports on people so political campaigns could tailor make messages fro each individual in hopes of swaying their vote. Is this different from companies doing the same thing to try and sell you certain products or services? I don’t know, but it does raise the concern, where should the line be drawn about how data collected from online behavior should and shouldn’t be used.
https://www.npr.org/2018/03/20/595338116/what-did-cambridge-analytica-do-during-the-2016-election (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/10/youarewhatyoulike_find_out_what_algorithms_can_tell_about_you_based_on_your.html (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
I think Eli Pariser’s video brought up a good point about privacy. I agree with him that social media companies are taking advantage of their access to our private data and are using it in ways that keep us isolated from other perspectives. I notice that when I browse my Facebook or Instagram, I always see similar to content to accounts I’m following or pages I like. I feel like on Facebook, the only possible way to see new and different content is for my friends to repost or share an article or video that is different from what I like. I understand that Facebook thinks they are showing me things I want to see but the whole point of Facebook to me is to discover and learn about new things. I have done Google searches with my friends to see how their results differ from mine and it’s crazy to see how different the results are that we get. I don’t think the internet is as “free” of a place as we think it is because most of our content is actually super censored and chosen specifically for what we’ve enjoyed in the past. The internet should be a place to learn new things and explore different ideas without tech companies interfering. Jennifer Golbeck’s TED Talk also reveals how much marketers know about us… or think they know about us just from the pages we like on Facebook. I like hundreds of pages on Facebook but I don’t think that a page like curly fries should be used to determine if I’m smart or not. Although it seems like these companies have made pretty accurate guesses about what we like and who we are, they could also be totally missing the mark. I’m sure there are smart people and the opposite both liking the curly fries Facebook page so I don’t see how that is a good indication of how smart you are. I attached an article that explains how to monitor and control your privacy setting on Facebook. I think this is important because most people aren’t aware that they are just handing over their personal info to companies and that they can control what companies can see about them. There should be more articles like this one that allows users to take their privacy matters into their own hands.
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/News/manage-apps-access-private-data-facebook/story?id=53903969 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Comments are focused and integrative (linking materials to other courses, work experiences, current events, etc..). Provides web links and commentary on topics relevant to the course. Integrates materials and discussions with other courses, experiences. Starts new discussion topics and thoughtfully comments on discussions started by other students. Provides supportive evidence for point of view.