Over the last months, the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs has produced two audio broadcasts on the advantages and challenges of the use of Big Data. One broadcast looks at Big Data’s “bright side”, and how it can help inform decision making. The second part looks at Big Data’s dark side, the permanence of the past, and the challenge of an ever more predicted future. Both feature interviews with a number of Big Data experts, including Professor Mayer-Schönberger, are free to listen to, and can also be found on Stitcher.
Times Higher Education (THE) sat down in December 2013 with Professor Mayer-Schönberger in preparation for ONLINE EDUCA 2013 in Berlin, Europe’s largest meeting of digital learning experts, to discuss the role of Big Data in education, and its potential dark sides. In the interview, Professor Mayer-Schönberger warned of probabilistic predictions being used to filter and select students rather than to improve the context in which they learn, suggesting that this would be a dystopian future for education.
Michiko Kakutani, one of the publishing world’s most respected book reviewer, has read “Big Data” , the new bestselling book by Professor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier, and really liked it. In her erudite and comprehensive review published in the New York Times, on June 10, 2013, she writes that with big data the nature of surveillance has changed, pointing to one of the fundamental dark sides of big data that “Big Data” talked about.
In its latest issue, MIT Technology Review published an excerpt from Professor Mayer-Schönberger’s and Kenneth Cukier’s recent bestseller “Big Data“. The excerpt focuses on one of Big Data’s dark sides, namely that people ascribe Big Data results too much meaning, thereby exposing themselves to what the authors call the “dictatorship of data”.
Steven Poole reviews new Internet books in the Guardian, including Mayer-Schönberger’s and Cukier’s recent international bestseller “Big Data“, and writes that they “laudably demolish some of the more ludicrous big-data fantasies”. He is particularly interested in the role of “algorithmists”, as proposed in “Big Data”.