The central question in the digital age may be “who owns our data?” but this could just as easily be rephrased as “who makes the decisions over how our data is used?”. So far the decisions have been increasingly made my machines. The conversation shown here illustrates that there may be some caveats to this assumption.
In a nutshell, this is more or less the disagreement as it’s seen from a data-scientist’s perspective. But I think that there are more fundamental questions for consumers. Beyond which of the two models will ultimately dominate the market, do we want machines to manage how our data is used and analyzed?
Here’s a simple rule for the second machine age we’re in now: as the amount of data goes up, the importance of human judgment should go down… The practical conclusion is that we should turn many of our decisions, predictions, diagnoses, and judgments—both the trivial and the consequential—over to the algorithms. There’s just no controversy any more about whether doing so will give us better results… I don’t know how quickly it’ll happen, but I’m very confident that data-dominated firms are going to take market share, customers, and profits away from those who are still relying too heavily on their human experts.
–Andrew McAfee, Harvard Business Review Blog
Human judgment is at the center of successful data analysis. This statement might initially seem at odds with the current Big Data frenzy and its focus on data management and machine learning methods. But while these tools provide immense value, it is important…
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