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A Conversation About “Data Ecology”

04.03.2024 12:30 PM

Event Summary

Data is an indispensable resource for virtually all private enterprise and public governance. And its importance will only grow with the dramatic expansion of AI. But data is not an organic material. It does not simply exist. It must be affirmatively produced, stored, moved, aggregated, mined, and deployed. Given data’s value and its risks, however, we know far less than we should about how to design coherent and continuous technical, legal, social, and economic systems that can shape data’s uses to our desired ends—that can render data a productive and legitimate instrument of human flourishing. We lack, in short, a vocabulary for conceptualizing data’s ecosystem and how to control it.

This talk, presented by the Government Data Markets project at the Neubauer Collegium, began with a preliminary framework for “data ecology”—a way of thinking about data that can speak across fields—and concluded with a multi-disciplinary conversation about pathways for future research.

Bridget Fahey
(Assistant Professor of Law, University of Chicago)

Raul Castro Fernandez (Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Chicago)

Moderated by Michael Franklin (Morton D. Hull Distinguished Service Professor of Computer Science, University of Chicago)