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Datos vivos masivos

CAMBRIDGE – Los datos masivos se crean a partir del rastro digital que dejamos cuando usamos tarjetas de crédito, teléfonos celulares o Internet. Usados de forma precisa y minuciosa, estos datos nos dan un alcance sin precedentes para entender nuestra sociedad y mejorar la manera en que vivimos y trabajamos. Sin embargo, lo que en teoría funciona bien, puede no traducirse con éxito en el mundo real, donde las complejas interacciones humanas no siempre se pueden capturar, incluso mediante los modelos más sofisticados. Los datos masivos nos obligan a experimentar a gran escala.

Por ejemplo, mi propio laboratorio está creando un sitio Web que, basado en mapas de Google, usa los rastros digitales de la sociedad para describir, barrio por barrio, la pobreza, la mortalidad infantil, el índice de delincuencia, los cambios en el PIB y otros indicadores sociales –todos se actualizarán diariamente. Esta nueva herramienta permitirá, por ejemplo, a los espectadores ver dónde funcionan las iniciativas gubernamentales y dónde no.

Sin embargo, si bien dichas herramientas para los espectadores permiten aumentar de forma espectacular la transparencia y el conocimiento público, son sorprendentemente limitadas cuando se trata de aplicarlas para resolver los problemas de la sociedad. Una de las razones es que estos flujos abundantes de datos fomentan las correlaciones engañosas.

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