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Thursday
Apr252013

BBC HORIZON: THE AGE OF BIG DATA

This episode is about data mining, and using that information to predict trends across many facets of our society , and how this information will impact our lives.

I believe people need to think about the impact Big Data will have on academic institutions and children entering elementary school in the next few years. I expect schools will attempt to use the data collected from their early academic careers, perhaps even in the first few years of grade school, to dictate the academic needs of a generation before they even graduate from primary school.

Insert a few years of test scores, enter a collection of numerical variables to represent personality traits, and tally up a record of web searches, then run it through an algorithm to assign an academic path for a student. Therefore, allowing school administrators to figure out admission targets 15 years in the future, economists to workout the make up of the workforce in 20 years, and give political strategist a look at the future power base in 25 years.

Perhaps it will make things more efficient, but will students be unfairly assigned an academic future based on faulty assumptions and inadequate algorithms?

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