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Thursday, May 19 • 9:00am - 10:20am
Data Ecologies, Implicit Assumptions

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As we have come to manage ever more of our lives online, we enact and record our relationships with each other, and with corporations and institutions, through the auto-generated datasets that constitute the internet as we experience it. Our social media interactions, medical care, shopping, and instructional activities, all of it leaves behind what amounts to a teeming amazon of transactional data.

In this session we will start from the perspective of a researcher, looking at examples of the raw data produced by automated data gathering systems. We will examine the ways in which the economic imperatives driving data collection and the social perspectives of system designers are encoded in decisions about which data to collect and how it’s recorded. We will then pose hypothetical research questions of our data, so as to understand the ways in which data analysts and algorithm designers attempt to derive “relevance,” “popularity,” and socioeconomic identity from facially-neutral transactional data. Finally, we will experiment with the ways in which algorithmic selection is structuring our social and intellectual realities through machine curation processes such as Twitter “top tweets” and the Facebook newsfeed.

avatar for Damian Miller

Damian Miller

Assistant Director of Research & Assessment, Lewis & Clark College

Thursday May 19, 2016 9:00am - 10:20am
Dubach PC