In 2016 LUMSA launched a multidisciplinary research and study initiative on the general theme of Big Data.
The Big Data working group:
Prof. Nicoletta Rangone, LUMSA, Academic Director;
Prof. Fabiana Di Porto, University of Salento, Scientific Adviser;
Dr. Luigi Crimella, a professional journalist, Coordinator and operational development;
Why Big Data? According to a forecast, by 2020 the digital universe will consist of 40 Zettabytes (i.e. 1021 bytes - if every inhabitant of the United States took a photograph every second for a month, all the photographs together would amount to 1 Zettabyte!) According to some estimates, the amount of data used by the Internet of Things will increase 50-fold between 2010 and 2020. In 2015, businesses in the US alone invested 8.5 billion dollars in some areas of Big Data, almost 4 times the amount invested in 2010 (The Economist, 25 June 2016).
Research and training for Big Data does not appear to be widespread, and in any case is seen as a specialist area rather than an inter-disciplinary concern, with little regard for ethical and social aspects.
With our ongoing engagement to promoting innovation and its impact on personal development, LUMSA aims to override this specialist approach with a determined multidisciplinary approach, addressing both the technical/economic and ethical, social and legal aspects of Big Data.
Research objectives LUMSA will be holding a day of study entitled 'The era of Big Data: new knowledge, economic opportunities, social benefits, and the risks for individuals' in 2017.
In preparation for the day of study we have arranged interviews to discuss Big Data with important figures from higher education, cultural, technical and economic backgrounds. The interviews will be posted on this page as they occur, along with documentary and scientific material we collect.
The activities of this working group are presented as a work in progress and are open to suggestions from LUMSA scholars and students, professionals and the public in general, in order to create a foundation for a theme that appears to be primarily technical and economic in nature may also be considered in terms of its humanistic, ethical and spiritual aspects.