Attuning to 'Data Doubles'

Attuning to 'Data Doubles'

29.01.2015 14:00
Café Stage

This panel explores how life is led in conjunction with data systems.

Research by Turiano, N et al (2014) correlated categorical data (how 'in control' a given point of data, i.e. a person, feels) with longitudinal epidemiological data. Less education tallied with a greater sense of mastery, and less risk of mortality in comparison to well educated members of the same populace.  All caveats with respect to generalising noted, this instance highlights the problem of sufficient information when it comes to acting in accordance with ‘risk profile’ medicinal predictions. Said abstractions are construed through, and operate by, probabilistic analysis of population scale cohorts, so a similar problem of access and agency applies to other quotidian domains from which aggregate data profiles are constructed (governance, insurance and marketing) via data analysis. These data doubles come to bear upon, and exert agency over, a given person’s range of action. Data shadows are actors in informatic society, but how do we relate to them?

What statistical literacy is requisite to agential participation within informatic systems? Might a statistical and technical education approach be far too limiting for framing 'access'? Considering the attention which can possibly be paid to data shadows raises important questions, such as: how do you experience that which you partake in physically, but which provides no point of purchase for your sensory or affective mechanisms? In addressing such questions this panel explores how life is led in conjunction with data systems.