The Efficiency Paradox: What Big Data Can’t Do

Book by Edward Tenner: “A bold challenge to our obsession with efficiency–and a new understanding of how to benefit from the powerful potential of serendipity Algorithms, multitasking, the sharing economy, life hacks: our culture can’t get enough of efficiency. One of the great promises of the Internet and big data revolutions is the idea that […]

How Artificial Intelligence Could Increase the Risk of Nuclear War

Rand Corporation: “The fear that computers, by mistake or malice, might lead humanity to the brink of nuclear annihilation has haunted imaginations since the earliest days of the Cold War. The danger might soon be more science than fiction. Stunning advances in AI have created machines that can learn and think, provoking a new arms […]

Using Data to Inform the Science of Broadening Participation

Donna K. Ginther at the American Behavioral Scientist: “In this article, I describe how data and econometric methods can be used to study the science of broadening participation. I start by showing that theory can be used to structure the approach to using data to investigate gender and race/ethnicity differences in career outcomes. I also illustrate this […]

A survey of incentive engineering for crowdsourcing

Conor Muldoon, Michael J. O’Grady and Gregory M. P. O’Hare in the Knowledge Engineering Review: “With the growth of the Internet, crowdsourcing has become a popular way to perform intelligence tasks that hitherto would be either performed internally within an organization or not undertaken due to prohibitive costs and the lack of an appropriate communications infrastructure. In crowdsourcing […]

Digitalization and Public Sector Transformations

Book by Jannick Schou and Morten Hjelholt: “This book provides a study of governmental digitalization, an increasingly important area of policymaking within advanced capitalist states. It dives into a case study of digitalization efforts in Denmark, fusing a national policy study with local institutional analysis. Denmark is often framed as an international forerunner in terms of digitalizing its […]

Lessons from DataRescue: The Limits of Grassroots Climate Change Data Preservation and the Need for Federal Records Law Reform

Essay by Sarah Lamdan at the University of Pennsylvania Law Review: “Shortly after Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 Presidential election, but before his inauguration, a group of concerned scholars organized in cities and college campuses across the United States, starting with the University of Pennsylvania, to prevent climate change data from disappearing from government […]

A Race to the Top? The Aid Transparency Index and the Social Power of Global Performance Indicators

Paper by Dan Honig and Catherine Weaver: “Recent studies on global performance indicators (GPIs) reveal the distinct power that non-state actors can accrue and exercise in world politics. How and when does this happen? Using a mixed-methods approach, we examine the impact of the Aid Transparency Index (ATI), an annual rating and rankings index produced […]

Use our personal data for the common good

Hetan Shah at Nature: “Data science brings enormous potential for good — for example, to improve the delivery of public services, and even to track and fight modern slavery. No wonder researchers around the world — including members of my own organization, the Royal Statistical Society in London — have had their heads in their […]

Leveraging the Power of Bots for Civil Society

Allison Fine & Beth Kanter  at the Stanford Social Innovation Review: “Our work in technology has always centered around making sure that people are empowered, healthy, and feel heard in the networks within which they live and work. The arrival of the bots changes this equation. It’s not enough to make sure that people are heard; we now […]