Thomas Andre Svensson FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TECHNOLOGY IS TRANFORMING US INTO DATA PRODUCING HYBRIDS
Technology Usage is turning us Into Data Producing Hybrids without Control of Our Data Output
Humans now have two personalities, real and virtual. Our virtual personality bases itself on the data that we produce. As these tools play an ever-larger role in our life, we know little about what happens to the data we produce. Questions emerge about where it goes and the role it has in defining our virtual personality and the future implications.
Our virtual personality is part of what Thrift (2014) calls the ‘hybrid being’, meaning beings compromised of digital data and human flesh. Daily use of technology, be it social media or your smartwatch, produces the data that make up our virtual personality. There is something happening to our virtual personality that we cannot control, a categorization. This lack of transparency is something that might us in the future. Someone is defining our virtual one, but we do not know the implications of this definition.
As usage of big data is becoming more popular, many companies use modeling and prediction to understand it. These tools work as simplifying mechanisms to navigate the complexities of modern life. Within Europe, the public sector is taking use of the new kinds of data and infrastructures. Regional government in Denmark has made it possible for clinicians to let data generated by patients tracking devices inform health advice (Winthereik and Gad, Year?). These gadgets can be a gain in our lives, but gadgets are also gaining from our use of it. If you are wearing a smart-watch, the result is a 24/7 generation of data everywhere you go. In this sense, technology is an extension of us, and vice versa. The data produced will add to the virtual personality. This virtual personality is merely a number in a database, but it is a powerful number, as it could possibly define you.
We do not know enough about how people interact with, make sense of and use the digital data they generate (Lupton, 2016). However, we know that the devices we carry with us literally are our companions: the smartphone is regularly touched, fiddled with and looked at throughout the day. In addition, this companion send out continuous flows of personal information (Lupton, 2016). It is therefore important to learn more about how we can have a productive relationship, recognizing our mutual dependency (Lupton, 2016). The data these companions produce emerge beyond our bodies/selves and into the digital economies and circulations, purposed and repurposed by different actors (Lupton, 2016). Whether we care or not, these data-human assemblages from our companions have implications for our lives in a rapidly growing array of contexts.
The implications of the big data is just growing, and it is time for a call to investigate and intervene current big data usage.
Thrift, N, is a British academic and geographer. Brit Ross Winthereirk and Christopher Gad are Ph. D. Assoc. Prof. at the IT University of Copenhagen.
Thrift N (2014) The ‘sentient’ city and what it may portend. Big Data & Society, 1. Available at: http://bds.sagepub.com/content/1/1/2053951714532241.full.pdfþhtml (accessed 1 April 2014).
Project Proposal – Data as Relation, VELUX Fonden (The info from Brit Ross Wintererik and Christopher Gad).
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