Algorithms and the Social Fabric: Accountability, Governance and Ethics

David Sangokoya, Emmanuel Letouzé, Natalie Shoup Blog

Algorithms are profoundly changing the world we live in; they seem to be everywhere, yet often hidden and generally poorly understood by the general public. They are referred to as ‘black boxes,’ concealing sophisticated mechanisms that crunch citizen-consumers’ data to make predictions that turn into prescriptions, and lock these subjects into their condition. However, the rise of algorithms may also … Read More

Open algorithms: A new paradigm for using private data for social good

Thomas Roca, Emmanuel Letouzé Blog

The term “datafication” was coined to describe the consequences of the digital revolution: the growing generation, collection and storage of digital information concerning all aspects of the physical world (including earth activity, weather, climate, and biosphere), human lives and activities (including DNA, vital signs, consumption, and credit scores), and societal patterns (including communications, economic activity, and mobility).

Promoting a “people-centered” data revolution at the World Humanitarian Summit—and beyond

David Sangokoya, Emmanuel Letouzé Blog

Data-Pop Alliance will co-host two side events during the first World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) held in Istanbul, Turkey this week: a remote side event with UNOCHA in New York on May 23rd, and an official WHS side event in Istanbul with UNDP, UNICEF and WFP, on May 24th. Both events will deal with the applications and implications of data and … Read More

Big Data and Migration, Part 1

David Sangokoya, Emmanuel Letouzé Blog

This is the first in a series of blog posts on our ongoing work exploring the applications and implications of Big Data and migration. People have always been on the move—whether to seek refuge from war and persecution, find jobs and create businesses, flee in the aftermath of natural disasters, or get a degree somewhere else. From country to city, … Read More

Taming the data storm to shape a human-centered data revolution: contextualizing and announcing digitising Europe’s stakeholders’ dialogues

Carson Martinez, Emmanuel Letouzé Blog

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While the Library of Alexandria was once believed to contain the sum of human knowledge around the third century B.C.E, it is now near impossible to quantify and increasingly difficult to store the volume of data generated by humans as a result of the advent of digital technologies and societies.

“A new and sometimes awkward relationship” on Big Data and Human Rights should be Further Explored

Emmanuel Letouzé and Patrick Vinck Blog

The AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Sciences) Science and Human Rights Coalition organized a 2-day conference on ‘Big Data and Human Rights’ on January 15 and 16 in Washington DC, where Data-Pop Alliance’s co-founders Emmanuel Letouzé and Patrick Vinck (who also serves on AAAS’ Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility) presented their perspectives on this critical yet still … Read More

A few Big Data Bites

Emmanuel Letouzé Blog

  Big data: early years and foundational pieces An early mention of the upcoming “Industrial Revolution of data” can be found in a blog by Joe Hellerstein, a computer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley. It was published in November 2008, a few months after Wired had claimed that ‘data deluge’ would signify “the end of theory” and make the … Read More

Key Facts & Figures on Big Data and Call Detail Records

Emmanuel Letouzé Blog

What is big data, and could it transform development policy? Emmanuel Letouzé takes a close look at this emerging field. In just a few years ‘big data’ have affected industries and activities from marketing and advertising to intelligence gathering and law enforcement, stirring much excitement and scepticism. With policymaking increasingly looking like big data’s next frontier, is this phenomenon — … Read More

Data “Inflation” Table

Emmanuel Letouzé Blog

Unit Size What it means Bit (b) 1 or 0 Short for “binary digit”, after the binary code (1 or 0) computers use to store and process data—including text, numbers, images, videos, etc. Byte (B) 8 bits Enough information to create a number or an English letter in computer code. It is the basic unit of computing. Kilobyte (KB) 1,000, … Read More