Big data techniques for a better future

Thursday, February 28th, 2019

A symposium sponsored by the Elsevier Foundation at the TWAS General Meeting brought together global experts in big data and machine learning to explain the promise of the technology – and the new dilemmas it poses.

Attendees of the 28th TWAS General Meeting in Trieste, Italy, listen to the symposium “Data Analytics, Social Media and Sustrainability’, supported by the Elsevier Foundation. [Photo: Paola di Bella]

The world is more interconnected and more digitally recorded than ever before, and one consequence of this technological shift is that scientists have an unprecedented amount of data to work with. But this has also given rise to new questions, not just about how to use that data, but how to use it optimally and responsibly.

These questions were explored in the symposium “Data Analytics, Social Media and Sustainability”, supported by the Elsevier Foundation at the 28th TWAS General Meeting in Trieste, Italy. The symposium brought together a trio of experts in sustainable development, machine learning and cybersecurity to discuss the promise, potential and challenges presented by the big data era.

The Elsevier Foundation Director Ylann Schemm said the symposium was designed to be a “deep dive” into the importance of harnessing the data revolution for good causes, in particular those pursued by the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).