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Grady Booch Urges Big Data Community to Consider Technology’s Implications

Grady Booch, IBM ResearchThe data science community has an obligation to educate politicians and the general public about the implications of big data, said Grady Booch, chief scientist of software engineering at IBM Research. Speaking at Rock Stars of Big Data Tuesday at the Computer History Museum, Booch urged the community to speak out when they see big data being misused.

Technologists need to understand that the technologies being created can have unintended consequences. “Consider the implications beyond the technology. Just because something is possible to do, doesn’t necessarily mean that we should do it,” he said.

Inappropriate data collection isn’t anything new. Booch recalled past US censuses’ potentially inappropriate questions, such as asking if the person is a slave, has a contagious disease, can read or write, or in recent times, if the individual is a citizen. “These questions sound absolutely outrageous, but this is the kind of data collection that took place,” he said. 

Often, the implications of data aren’t considered. For example, collecting data on electricity usage can yield information on private personal habits. “We know if you look at your electrical usage, I can make a pretty good prediction of when you’re in the house, when you’re doing laundry, and when you’re watching TV,” Booch said.

Even data collected with benign intent can have a dark side. Booch used data collected to protect the monk seal as an example. Making monk seals’ locations public could increase awareness of their plight, but it could also put the endangered species in peril by giving their locations out to those who wish to do them harm.

A big problem is that laws governing big data aren’t keeping up with technology. That’s where the big data community comes in. Booch said the community should be aware of ethical considerations. A good starting place is the codes of ethics that organizations such as IEEE, ACM, and INCOSE have developed.

Members of the big data community should ask themselves how they would feel if they themselves or a member of their family were affected by an unintended consequence of big data.

In the past, big data in the health insurance space meant collecting data to allow risk to be spread among large groups. But now, it can be used to evaluate individual risks, leading to some potentially troubling unintended results. For example, if data revealed that someone was going skydiving or had recently gotten a speeding ticket, their insurance rates could go up.  

“The law is going to do some stupid things. We as professional people in this space have a responsibility to step up and say something,” Booch said.

Unfortunately, future misuse of big data seems unavoidable. “We’re going to see some really sad, heart-wrenching uses of big data that destroy individuals. We can’t help that,” Booch said. “But issues need to be raised. If we don’t do it, who will?”

Get Ready for a Day Full of Information and Insights

After months of preparation and planning, the day has finally arrived for the must-attend big data event of the year. If you are preparing your itinerary for Rock Stars of Big Data at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, get ready for a day packed full of information and insights from leaders in the field.

Follow Rock Stars of Big Data with the #RSBD hashtag at https://twitter.com/BigDataRockStar for continual news and updates throughout the day. Also visit this blog for photos and coverage of any sessions or information you may have missed.

The day kicks off with breakfast in the Hahn Auditorium Lobby exhibition area from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Get some nourishment and meet the Rock Stars of Big Data exhibitors before heading off to hear the first presentation by IBM Research Chief Scientist of Software Engineering Grady Booch, who will discuss “The Human/Ethical Aspects of Big Data.”

Grady Booch will be followed by GE Software Vice President William Ruh, who will discuss “The Industrial Internet”; and Michael S. Johnson of Kaiser Permanente, speaking about "Big Data in Healthcare: Problems, Progress, and Promise.” After a break from 10:30-10:45 a.m., the morning session will resume with Intel’s Mark Seager, discussing “Approaching Big Data as a Technical Compute Usage Model: What Shall We Do?” and Bill Franks from Teradata sharing his insights on “Putting Big Data to Work.”

Lunch will take place from 12:30-2 p.m., during which attendees can also view demos and exhibits.

Netflix’s Chris Pouliot will begin the afternoon session at 2 p.m. by sharing his experience in “Building a Data Science Team From Scratch." Peter Ungaro, CEO of Cray—a company in the news lately for increasing sales of its supercomputers-- will provide his insights on “The Fusion of Supercomputing and Big Data," followed by analyst and consultant Joshua Greenbaum talking about “Imagineering Big Data: How to Bring Rock Star Analysis to Your Company”; IBM’s Stephen Brodsky, discussing “Big Data, Analytics, and Watson”; and Google’s Dan Sturman, who will provide expertise in “Building Big Data Processing Into Your Business.” A break is scheduled from 4:15-4:30 p.m.

And to provide a relaxing and invigorating forum to discuss and integrate everything you’ve learned during an information-packed day, please join us for the cocktail reception from 6-8 p.m. We hope you will enjoy Rock Stars of Big Data from start to finish. If you need assistance, please reach out to event staff at the venue or email bigdata@computer.org.

Still Some Spaces Left for Rock Stars of Big Data

Rock Stars of Big Data, the must-attend Big Data event of the year, is fast approaching. There are still some seats available for the October 29 event at the Computer History Museum in the Silicon Valley. To register now, visit http://www.computer.org/Big-Data.

Featuring big data experts from Google, Netflix, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, GE Software, and other companies, Rock Stars of Big Data will empower attendees to:

  • understand the potential for big data in their business,
  • create a big data culture,
  • make big data projects succeed,
  • use big data analytics to make the right decisions, and
  • prepare employees and teams for big data projects.

Speakers at Rock Stars of Big Data include:

  • Grady Booch, Chief Scientist of Software Engineering, IBM Research
  • William Ruh, Vice President, GE Software
  • Chris Pouliot, Director of Algorithms and Analytics, Netflix
  • Michael Johnson, Director for Utility Care Data Analysis, Kaiser Permanente
  • Dan Sturman, Engineering Director, Google
  • Mark Seager, Intel CTO for Technical Computing
  • Peter Ungaro, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cray Inc.
  • Josh Greenbaum, Principal, Enterprise Applications Consulting
  • Stephen Brodsky, Technical Executive and Distinguished Engineer of Big Data Initiatives, IBM Silicon Valley Lab, and
  • Bill Franks, Chief Analytics Officer for Teradata’s global alliance programs.

Join high-level attendees from Amazon, Apple, Broadcom, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and other well-known companies, as well as healthcare firms, local and state governments, midsized enterprises, and more at this must-attend event.

Hear About the Human and Ethical Aspects of Big Data from Grady Booch

Grady Booch, IBM Research Chief Scientist of Software Engineering and developer of the transmedia project, "Computing: The Human Experience," will speak at Rock Stars of Big Data, October 29 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

Booch is recognized internationally for improving the art and the science of software development and has served as architect and architectural mentor for numerous complex software-intensive systems around the world. The author of six best-selling books and several hundred articles on computing, he has lectured on topics as diverse as software methodology and the morality of computing. "Computing: The Human Experience" will explore the history of computing in a five-part series of one-hour episodes.

At Rock Stars of Big Data, Booch will discuss the human consequences of collecting, analyzing, and acting upon data, as well as the ways in which the technology of big data and the human implications of it must co-evolve. He is among nearly a dozen technology leaders who will share their experiences at Rock Stars of Big Data. To register, visit http://www.computer.org/Big-Data.

Team rates are available. Individuals and teams can register today at www.computer.org/Big-Data. To stay updated on news and special offers, follow Rock Stars at https://twitter.com/BigDataRockStar.
Industry Analyst Joshua Greenbaum to Share Insights on Building Culture of Big Data

As big data software and hardware vendors continue to close technical gaps for big data, the looming problem for most companies isn't about which technology solutions are best for their analysis. Rather, the question is how to empower employees and employee teams to create and operationalize the new analytics that lie inside the growing mountain of big data in the organization.

Joshua Greenbaum, principal of Enterprise Applications Consulting, will share his insights on unleashing that potential during his presentation, "Imagineering Big Data: How to Bring Rock Star Analysis to Your Company," at Rock Stars of Big Data, October 29 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

Greenbaum has over 30 years of experience in the industry as a computer programmer, systems analyst, author, consultant, and industry analyst. He regularly consults with leading public and private enterprise software, database, infrastructure, implementation, and hardware companies, and advises end users on technology infrastructure and applications selection, development, and implementation issues. His discussion will use examples from case studies to provide guidelines on how to turn employees into data scientists, and how to turn analyses into great decisions. 

Greenbaum is among nearly a dozen technology leaders who will share their experiences at Rock Stars of Big Data. To register, visithttp://www.computer.org/Big-Data.

The high-level, one-day discussion, produced by IEEE Computer Society, is aimed at business as well as technology leaders. The summit will empower attendees to:

  • understand the potential for big data in their business,
  • create a big data culture,
  • make big data projects succeed,
  • use big data analytics to make the right decisions, and
  • prepare employees and teams for big data projects.

Other speakers include:

  • Chris Pouliot, Director of Algorithms and Analytics, Netflix
  • Grady Booch, Chief Scientist of Software Engineering, IBM Research
  • Dan Sturman, Engineering Director, Google
  • Stephen Brodsky, Technical Executive and Distinguished Engineer of Big Data Initiatives,  IBM Silicon Valley Lab
  • Bill Franks, Chief Analytics Officer, Teradata, and
  • Peter Ungaro, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cray.

Team rates are available. Individuals and teams can register today atwww.computer.org/Big-Data. To stay updated on news and special offers, follow us at https://twitter.com/BigDataRockStar.

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