Category Archives: theory

Law as Information in the Era of Data-Driven Agency

This contribution introduces the mathematical theory of information that ‘informs’ computer systems, the internet and all that has been built upon it. The aim of the author is to invite lawyers to reconsider the grammar and alphabet of modern positive law and of the Rule of Law, in the face of the alternative grammar and alphabet of a data-driven society. Instead of either embracing or rejecting the technological transitions that reconfigure the operations of the law, this article argues that lawyers should collaborate with the computer scientists that engineer and design the affordances of our new onlife world. This is crucial if we want to sustain democratic participation in law-making, contestability of legal effect and transparency of how citizens may be manipulated by the invisible computational backbone of our rapidly and radically changing world.

Source: Law as Information in the Era of Data-Driven Agency – Hildebrandt – 2016 – The Modern Law Review – Wiley Online Library

Psychologists Use Social Networking Behavior to Predict Personality Type | MIT Technology Review

The ability to automatically determine personality type could change the way social networks target services to usersOne of the foundations of modern psychology is that human personality can be described in terms of five different forms of behavior. These are: 1. Agreeableness–being helpful, cooperative and sympathetic towards others 2. Conscientiousness–being disciplined, organized and achievement-oriented 3. Extraversion–having a higher degree of sociability, assertiveness and talkativeness 4. Neuroticism–the degree of emotional stability, impulse control and anxiety 5. Openness–having a strong intellectual curiosity and a preference for novelty and varietyPsychologists have spent much time and many years developing tests that can classify people according to these criteria. Today, Shuotian Bai at the Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and a couple of buddies say they have developed an online version of the test that can determine an individual’s personality traits from their behavior on a social network such as Facebook or Renren, an increasingly popular Chinese competitor.

Source: Psychologists Use Social Networking Behavior to Predict Personality Type | MIT Technology Review

OP observes how Facebook’s mobile app served him pest control ads immediately after he started a conversation about pest control (and not before), implying it is listening to him through the mic. Other Redditors share eerily similar experiences. : bestof

OP observes how Facebook’s mobile app served him pest control ads immediately after he started a conversation about pest control (and not before), implying it is listening to him through the mic. Other Redditors share eerily similar experiences.

Source: OP observes how Facebook’s mobile app served him pest control ads immediately after he started a conversation about pest control (and not before), implying it is listening to him through the mic. Other Redditors share eerily similar experiences. : bestof

Thorson & Wells: Curated Flows: A Framework for Mapping Media Exposure in the Digital Age

Advancing theory in media exposure and effects requires contending with an increasing level of complexity and contingency. Building on established theoretical concerns and the research possibilities enabled by large social datasets, we propose a framework for mapping information exposure of digitally situated individuals. We argue that from the perspective of an individual’s personal communication network, comparable processes of “curation” are undertaken by a variety of actors—not only conventional newsmakers but also individual media users, social contacts, advertisers, and computer algorithms. Detecting the competition, intersection, and overlap of these flows is crucial to understanding media exposure and effects today. Our approach reframes research questions in debates such as polarization, selective and incidental exposure, participation, and conceptual orientations for computational approaches.

Source: Curated Flows: A Framework for Mapping Media Exposure in the Digital Age – Thorson – 2015 – Communication Theory – Wiley Online Library