Articles on Big data

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Tech companies can use differential privacy to collect and share aggregate data about user habits, while maintaining individual privacy. Tim Snell/Flickr

Explainer: what is differential privacy and how can it protect your data?

How should privacy be protected in a world where data is gathered and shared with increasing speed and ingenuity? Differential privacy, a new model of cyber security, provides a potential solution.
Images created by NASA with satellite data helped the U.S. Department of Agriculture analyze outbreak patterns for southern pine beetles in Alabama, in spring 2016. NASA

Can scientists learn to make ‘nature forecasts’ just as we forecast the weather?

Big data open-access publishing and other advances offer ecologists the ability to forecast events like pest outbreaks over days and seasons rather than decades. But scholars need to seize this opportunity.
Artist’s view of Aqua, a NASA satellite in orbit around the Earth since 2002 that studies the water cycle. AIRS/Flickr

Climate change as seen from space

Several satellites have been launched in recent years with the objective of measuring data related to climate change. They must be complementary to measurements made on earth.
In the Global Biodiversity Information Facility there are 682,447 records of human encounters with dandelions. from

AI is learning from our encounters with nature – and that’s a concern

Does big data threaten how humans explore the natural world? We need to protect our impulses to observe, compare, play, discover and love, no matter what technological capabilities are available.
Big data makes it a bit easier to guess your next move. blackboard1965/

Can math predict what you’ll do next?

Predicting human behavior is big business. But science may never be able to do so with perfect certainty.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff launch Sidewalk Toronto, a high-tech urban development project. Mark Blinch/Reuters

Can a tech company build a city? Ask Google

Toronto has entered a joint venture with a Google sister company to create a high-tech urban development area. The goal is to 're-imagine cities from the internet up' – Google's internet, of course.

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