April 29, 2014 at 12:30pm ET Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor
We are becoming data. Between our mobile phones, browser history, wearable sensors, and connected devices in our homes, there's more data about us than ever before. So how are we learning to live with all this data?
Inspired by her ethnographic interview work with members of the quantified self community, Sara hopes to make these larger systemic shifts more relateable and concrete with personal narratives. This talk will share some examples of how we find clues, investigate, and reverse engineer what's going on with our data, and call for more stories to help personalize our evolving relationship to data and the algorithms that govern it.
Sara M. Watson is a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Her work addresses how individuals are learning to live with their personal data, in particular as more technologies like wearable sensors and the Internet of Things tie our bodies and our physical environment to data. Her award winning thesis examined the personal data interests of the Quantified Self community. Sara’s research interests include algorithmic literacy, personal data and the digital self, and society’s relationships to technologies and infrastructures. She is also interested in how technological change gets written and talked about in popular culture. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Wired, and Slate.
Sara also consults with technology companies about their data practices and policies. She has worked with companies such as Crimson Hexagon, Brightcove, and The World Economic Forum. Previously she was an enterprise technology analyst at The Research Board, exploring the implications of large-scale technological trends for Fortune 500 CIOs.
Sara holds an MSc in the Social Science of the Internet with distinction from the Oxford Internet Institute, and graduated from Harvard College magna cum laude with a joint degree in English and American Literature and Film Studies.