Rishi Kumar @ DISUMMIT 2017: “Data for Good, Lesson from the Frontline”

DiS17_Speaker_09:28_Rishi KumarRishi Nalin Kumar is the Chief Scientist at eBench. He is an analytics expert who has worked in the corporate and startup environments while also supports DataKind, which fosters the collaboration between top data scientists and social change organisations in projects to maximise positive social impact.

About Rishi and what ideal data for good projects should have

Rishi visited us from London to share his main lessons as DataKind’s Chapter Lead. He is enthusiastic about having an increasing number of initiatives (like hackathons and organisations -of all kinds-) which have as startpoint a societal challenge requiring solutions via analysing data pools.

His experience in building synergies to use data as  a catalyser for social change has taught him to keep an open mind to changes, as the original objective set for a project may evolve along with its findings. Additionally, Rishi emphasized the importance of involving people with a non-data background in the projects in order to build well-grounded solutions. What is also important to consider is that a project’s good cause requires many other element on board to be successful, and that it is essential to always validate that the following elements are on board:

Relevant data + reliable partner to work with

+ well framed problem + simple solution to be implemented

When asked about what is a major general challenge towards data, Rishi confirmed that  organisations need to update their view towards customer segmentation. The usual approach of defining a very fixed set up rules (for instance, grouping customers by the last way they performed a certain action) is less efficient than considering identity traits to spot behavioural patterns. The complexity involved to do so would certainly worth approaching customers in a more assertive manner.

A takeaway from Rishi’s presentation

“If data is the new oil, privacy is the new climate change”

 

Looking forward to keep on listening to your lessons on using data for good, Rishi!

Rishi’s interview:

Rishi’s presentation recording:

Rishi’s deck:

Rishi’s presentation’s sketch:

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Filip Maertens @ DISUMMIT 2017: “Can A.I. help us build a better world?”

DiS17_Speaker_09:14_Filip Maertens

Filip Maertens is a cyber-security expert. He has worked in the military, intelligence, critical infrastructure and banking industry; both in engineering and project management roles. Besides loving to code software, he also loves dogs, and climbing mountains. You can find more over Filip by visiting his blog: https://filipmaertens.com

About Filip’s view on the challenges Artificial Intelligence is facing

Filip kicked off his presentation highlighting how society (ourselves!) have generated a science-fiction fatalist scenario on Artificial Intelligence’s effects, without realising that we are already in the middle of the storm. With personalised news streams sharing fake news and an increasing risk of black-hat hacking, we se how A.I. is being driven by the wrong anchors.

There are specific actions to fix this trend, like adhering to a strong moral code of conduct (which embeds morality into algorithms), reducing bias from training data, and embracing privacy and data protection as an opportunity to do good.

Filip also emphasised the importance to cultivate and embracing the learnings of fields like psychology and philosophy, as this leads to realise the effects (both positive and perilous) of the way algorithms are built.

Last but not least, Filip said that events like Data Summit are the centerpiece of sharing knowledge and congregate people, and to make people reflect about how can ethics can be part in the “chain” running from an algorithm’s data source to the output. He expects that initiatives like the General Data Protection Regulation (GPDR) can spread for a positive use of data.

A takeaway from Filip’s presentation

“Researchers should be driven by curiousness, ethic and morality. Not by law or politics.”

 

We look forward to talk soon to Filip on the improvement on the use of A.I. for a better world!

Filip’s interview:

Filip’s presentation recording:

To be published soon

Filip’s deck:

Filip’s presentation sketch:

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Kirk Borne @ DISUMMIT 2017: “A Data-rich World for a Better World: From Sensors to Sense-Making”

DiS17_Speaker_17:00_Keynote_kirk borneDr. Kirk Borne is a Principal Data Scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton. With a rich background in Astrophysics and Computational Science, he was a precursor on implementing courses of big data in academia. He is one of the most important promotors of data literacy in the world.

About Kirk and his view on data literacy and evolution 

On his first visit to Brussels, Kirk first activity was sharing his best practices to promote data literacy. While enjoying a magnificent  view of Brussels from the ING headquarter building, Kirk playfully (with a pair of socks!) explained how subjectivity plays a major role in the way that data is understood, derived by the wide variety of involved. This keynote was delivered at the speakers reception, which took place the day before the DI Summit.

The following day, Kirk wrapped up the DI summit with his closing keynote on how data has shifted into something that is sense-making, following the evolution from “data” to “big data” into “smart data” composed by both enriched and semantic data and essential for IoT. He also discussed the levels of maturity in a  self-driving enterprise, wrapping up his participation sharing this equation:

Big Data + IoT + Citizen Data Scientists = Partners in Sustainability

Kirk’s impression on the DI Summit was that it was a fun and informative event to join. His favorite format were the 5” pitches, as they were properly structured, providing the most critical information to the attendees. He also think that the networking dynamic ensured that all attendees met interesting people.

A takeaway from Kirk’s presentation

“Big data is not about how big it is, but the value you extract from it”

 

We look forward to have Kirk sometime soon back in Brussels!

Kirk’s introduction to his DISUMMIT keynote:

Filip’s presentation recording:

To be published soon

Kirk’s presentation deck:

Kirk’s presentation sketch:

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