Director of Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin
We count steps, heartbeats, phone calls; we measure our speed, our blood pressure, our bank account; we optimise our schedule, our medication, our mental health.
The variety of things we can track, tally and capture seems limitless, which raises the question: if you could measure everything, would you? How will we choose to use the quantifiable self, and how will we record and analyse the unquantifiable? Does this mean the end of privacy, or just an evolution of what we currently understand as ‘private life’?
We want to help visitors at LIFELOGGING explore one of the remaining frontiers of data science: themselves. From sensors to surveillance, recordings to reflective analysis, there are ethical minefields as lifelogging leaps from early-adopter to everyday. The number of sensors in the average smartphone have skyrocketed, and what was exciting only a year ago in this space may be passé in just 18 months. But if the speed of innovation seems to be increasing, so does society’s ability to adapt, debate, and design codes of conduct around these new technologies. 21st-century IoT gadgets are just another addition to the diaries, libraries, medical records, and census data that humans have been recording for thousands of years.
All of this development makes right now the perfect time to explore this theme, and we’ve been lucky to work with Linda Doyle (Director of CTVR - the telecommunications research centre in Ireland at Trinity College Dublin), Nicholas Felton (information designer, designer of the Facebook timeline, co-creator of Reporter and Daytum apps) and as curators of LIFELOGGING, plus Cathal Gurrin (lecturer at the School of Computing, DCU, expert advisor at the INSIGHT Centre for Data Analytics, ) as an expert advisor. With their help we hope to dig deep into data, forecast future trends, and examine our desire to be quantified.
Will we like what we see, and is it true, what is measured improves?