Workshop Abstract

This workshop seeks to provide a platform for multidisciplinary perspectives on “data”. Digital data has traditionally been defined as “bits and bytes”; it was not information, and it was not knowledge or wisdom. There is no doubt that data drives decision making in corporations; a process of transformation into something other than bits and bytes sheds light on short term and long-term structural objectives. Today there are machine-to-machine communications, without a human in the loop. What are some of the social implications of such systems? What is the role of the human in an increasingly technocratic society? How can we leverage data for human and environmental sustainability? How is narrative important to our future(s)? Importantly, we consider how data is being used today (both in open and closed systems); we consider warrant-based and warrant-less tracking capabilities in the context of commercial enterprise, open government systems, and for national security in general. What will happen when data begins to become “aware” of itself, its place in a chain of transactions, the metadata linked to it, and where it is “fit for purpose” (or not fit for purpose) contextually. The Workshop seeks to question how forms of structured and unstructured datasets can be used, or should be used and begins to shed light on the power of data to “be” in and of its own accord. This is contrasted against today’s corporatisation of data “behind a gateway”, the commoditisation of the individual, and fundamental consumer data rights as opposed to business and government data rights, and algorithmic bias driven by data. The Workshop will invite stakeholders of all types to participate in activities, allowing them to return to their workplaces to ask the same questions and the same challenges elicited in the Workshop. We hope you can join us. We look forward to your participation.