Big Data Applications and Their Impacts on Society — Some Not So Good
Terry Christiani, Microsoft
Kathy Meier-Hellstern, AT&T
NJIT Vice Provost for Research
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
2:30 - 4:00 P.M.
Campus Center Ballroom A
Recommending further information tailored to interests we express online is a potent application of “big data.” Increasingly, as Terry Christiani and Kathy Meier-Hellstern will highlight in their Technology and Society Forum presentation, we are profiled and served with information predicted to resonate with our activity in cyberspace. While this is just good e-commerce practice, it can also create information bubbles that exclude viewpoints and facts at odds with our apparent personal perspectives.
Enter bad actors intent on disseminating false information — like “fake news”— and we have a very serious problem. How should governments and commercial enterprises respond? Where can academia play a positive role? How can we protect freedom of expression while thwarting the spread of insidious false information? Addressing these issues is critical for our social well-being.
Christiani is a data-analytics veteran advancing the use of data analytics across industries with open source tools and platforms at Microsoft, with emphasis on improving business outcomes. At Insightful (now Tibco), she implemented plans to drive awareness of the S language in the financial and pharmaceutical sectors. Subsequently working with the now dominant R language and the rise of big-data stores both on premises and in the cloud, she helped drive the growth of Revolution Analytics towards acquisition by Microsoft.
A widely published expert in applied probability, Meier-Hellstern is assistant vice president in the AT&T Labs research organization, where she leads the Optimization, Reliability and Customer Analytics Department. Previously, at AT&T Bell Labs, she served as a performance, reliability and scalability consultant for telephone, mobile, security and IP services. She is responsible for the design and development of AT&T’s Next Generation Network Cloud with a focus on optimization, performance and reliability, and network and customer analytics.