After watching the documentary, my initial reaction to some of the revelations made on tape absolutely shocked me. Of course I always knew that there was some sort of science behind it but the way these experts managed to identify certain methods to specific means was very interesting. During the film, certain topics were mentioned specifically about how the information was collected and the way it was and still is used present-day today.
Personally I thought the visuals throughout the documentary were also very remarkable as to how they depict the enormous amount of data they are trying to portray through tiny specs of dots and their patterns. In the topic where experts speak about quantifying the data, Jack Dorsey, a Twitter and Foursquare founder makes a really good point when he states that data is essentially meaningless until someone adds interpretation and creates a narrative around it. Technically without people to put together the programs and algorithms to make sense of the data, we would nowhere near where we are today.
Another fascinating matter mentioned in the film is how not only does Google provide us with information but how our searches also contribute information back. The example provided was that of people searching information on flu symptoms and such, therefore allowing analytics to predict Flu outbreaks about 2 weeks prior, although they explained how there was always a possibility of the data being inaccurate. Additionally, very intriguing pieces of data also mentioned was that of the collection of physiological information. All these pieces of technology such as FitBit and Apple Watch gather all that data and essentially based on certain pieces of information can calculate the level of risk an individual has in experiencing certain medical conditions.
Lastly, I also greatly enjoyed hearing how Patrick Meier explained his thorough plan to use social media outlets to collect data. He did so in order to pin point and map out parts of Haiti at the time of the earthquake who were in need of help. Him along with a group of volunteers mapped out these areas according to information being provided from people within the area to pass on to rescue workers. I would definitely recommend the film to anyone.
If you do decide to watch it, let me know what you think! Here’s the link: The Human Face of Big Data