Ed-Tech Companies: Big Data Analytics Must Result in Helpful Human Actions

Recently watching the NBA playoffs there was the jarring experience of back-to-back apology ads from Facebook and Wells Fargo. The theme running through both was: “We optimized for the wrong metrics! Oops!”

In Facebook’s case, they optimized for time spent in their app. But because we don’t post enough baby pictures, they filled our feeds with publisher content. Unfortunately the signal used to determine the reliability of publisher content Facebook chose was “engagement” rather than”truth.” So you take all that and add in the motivation to increase the value of Facebook by sharing our data with anyone who might find value in it and that’s how you end up testifying to Congress.

Author: Charlie Coglianese

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