New research suggests using big data, particularly social media data, can lead to a biased representation of the data based on societal factors.
Striking new research out of Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggests that inferences based on how people use social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook should be reconsidered. The reason? These platforms represent skewed samples from which it is difficult to draw accurate conclusions.
[ Thank you MIT Sloan Management Review]
[ By Renee Boucher Ferguson | 07.17.13 ]
In her draft paper, Big Data: Pitfalls, Methods and Concepts for an Emergent Field, UNC professor and Princeton CITP fellow Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) compares the methodological challenges of developing socially-based big data insights using Twitter to biological testing on Drosophila flies, better known as fruit flies. Drosophila flies are usually chosen because they’re relatively easy to use in lab settings, easy to breed, have rapid and “stereotypical” life cycles, and the adults are pretty small. The problem? They’re not necessarily representative of non-lab (read: real-life) scenarios. Tufekci posits that the dominance of Twitter as the “model organism” for social media in big data analyses similarly skews analysis:
Each social media platform carries with it certain affordances which structure its social norms and interactions and may not be representative of other social media platforms, or general human social behavior …
When ideas are still being developed or decisions still being considered, criticism and constructive conflict are vital to testing the value of the ideas.
By contrast, when everyone in a group always agrees, it can indicate that the group doesn't have very many ideas, or that they value agreement more than quality suggestions.
[Thank you harvard Business Review]
[by David Burkus | 07.22.13]
It's tough to find examples of successfully challenging the boss, even tougher to find stories of leaders who specifically ask to be challenged. The most common is a tale of Alfred P. Sloan at General Motors. During a meeting in which GM's top management team was considering a weighty decision, Sloan closed the meeting by asking." "Gentlemen, I take it we are all in complete agreement on the decision here?" Sloan then waited as each member of the assembled committee nodded in agreement. Sloan continued, "Then, I propose we postpone further discussion of this matter until our next meeting to give ourselves time to develop disagreement and perhaps gain some understanding of what this decision is about."
What Sloan was looking for was something many of us seek to eliminate: dissent. There's a lot of discussion on how leaders ought to cast a vision, gain buy-in, or steer a group to consensus. There's a lot less discussion on how leaders ought to cultivate a culture that values the right kind of criticism. That criticism is what Sloan was looking for, and what research tells us we need in order to make the best decision.
When ideas are still being developed or decisions still being considered, criticism and constructive conflict are vital to testing the value of the ideas and helping increase that value. Conflict is an indicator that diverse viewpoints are being considered and that the competition for ideas is still ongoing. During this competition, ideas are strengthened through further research, consideration or through the blending of different ideas into one stronger concept. By contrast, when everyone in a group always agrees, it can indicate that the group doesn't have very many ideas, or that they value agreement more than quality suggestions.
s/art/urday: My Mom's Paintings.
My mom Pierrette Mora is a painter in Rennes, Brittany, France.
Pro site: http://www.pierrettemora.fr
Pro Board: http://pinterest.com/philippemora/sarturday-by-pierrette-mora/
Flexible electronic devices could enable new types of applications in a wide range of contexts, from medicine to general purpose computing: researchers unveil one of the most complex electronic systems ever built on plastic.
[Thank You MIT Technology Review]
[By Mike Orcutt | 07.21.13]
A sheet of thin plastic that emits light with an intensity that precisely reflects the amount of pressure applied to its surface hints at a new breed of flexible computer interface. Its creators say future iterations of the interface could be used for robotics, car dashboards, mobile displays, or even “interactive wallpaper.”
Described today in Nature Materials, the new light-emitting “electronic skin,” as its inventors call it, is an extension of previous work from the lab of Ali Javey, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley. Javey’s group has developed processes that draw heavily on traditional silicon manufacturing techniques to uniformly and reliably integrate various organic and inorganic components on top of plastic.
In recent years, there have been an increasing number of efforts to make electronic devices on surfaces less rigid than the silicon wafers used in traditional manufacturing. Flexible, bendable electronics would open the door to a multitude of new applications, from medical sensors that wrap around organs to foldable displays. Certain plastics can serve as substrates for electronic systems, but reliably fabricating complicated circuits on plastic has been a challenge.
The team previously demonstrated a network of high-resolution pressure sensors made of nanowires arrayed on a relatively large area of plastic, which produced an electronic readout of pressure applied to the surface. The aim of the new work, says Javey, was to make a pressure sensor array that could directly interact with humans.
head of product in colorado. travel 🚀 work 🌵 food 🍔 rocky mountains, tech and dogs 🐾