For each question pick one of the of the eight big data technologies described below and refer to that application when writing your answer. You may use a different technology for each question or the same technology for one or more of the questions. Each question is worth five points. You should write between 300 and 500 words for each answer (although these limits are not strict). The total for the exam is 25 points. The technologies are as follows: 1. The Food and Drug Administration uses a big data analysis of outbreaks of diseases such as salmonella to identify the source of food-based infections. 2. Spotify uses big data to analyze its listeners’ preferences in order to create recommendations. For example, if you like Ariana Grande it might suggest a record by Sam Smith because other people who like Ariana Grande tend to like Sam Smith (please note, this is an entirely hypothetical example). 3. Banks monitor customer transactions using a big data application in order to identify possible credit card fraud. 4. Digital maps combined with real-time congestion information are used to plot routes for truck drivers. 5. Hotel check ins by phone instead of staff – and the phone can then be used to pay for meals, drinks, entertainment etc. 6. Cars: cars are now collecting enormous amounts of data on where they are, how fast they are travelling, driver behavior etc. Manufacturer can use this to identify defects or weaknesses in their products, improve designs to better account for driver behavior etc. 7. Online dating with recommendations as to partners who will be a good match. 8. Self-serve beer: Customers are given a card and pay for exactly what they drink, which doesn’t need to be in standard measures. The technology allows bar owners to monitor whether bar tenders are giving away free drinks (or drinking themselves), reduce spills, know when to reorder and which drinks are most popular, etc. Yes, this is a real big data application! QUESTIONS 1. Analyze one of the eight technologies in terms of forms of life, as described by Langdon Winner. 2. Analyze one of the eight technologies in terms of Viktor Mayer-2. Schönburger and Kenneth Cukier’s concept of correlation versus causation. 3. Discuss any privacy concerns raised by one of the eight technologies. Could the technology be implemented differently to reduce the privacy issues? 4. Langdon Winner created the term “mythinformation” to describe the “almost religious conviction that machines will produce a better world.” In fact, he argues, it usually functions as propaganda from those who will benefit from the technology in order to accustom everyone else to the idea that the costs are worth bearing. Apply this idea to one of the eight technologies. 5. We have seen during the semester that big data applications tend to deskill humans because the knowledge is transferred into the software. Describe how this happens in one of the eight technologies listed.
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