Worldwide, ad spending on social media was estimated at nearly $24 billion last year. And figuring out the value of social media followers is a burgeoning business. "Within the industry now, there's a strong belief that what you really want is a passionate audience, even if it's slightly smaller, versus a larger, meh audience," says media analyst Alan Wolk. That's a change from the conventional wisdom of the past 10 years, which has been about accumulating as many followers as possible.Valuable followers will retweet videos and promotions. They'll warmly talk about brands, and their followers will pay attention. But how do you measure this kind of passion?
While the number of teenagers smoking is dropping, the number of teens exposed to second hand smoke has not. That's the word from a new CDC report. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of middle-and-high school students are exposed to secondhand smoke. The results come from the CDC's national youth tobacco survey, given to sixth-through-twelfth-graders. The researchers say this just proves doctors need to intervene more when it comes to smoking, and encourage smoke-free homes and cars.
Does collecting more data lead to better decision-making? Competitive, data-savvy companies like Amazon, Google and Netflix have learned that data analysis alone doesn't always produce optimum results. In this talk, data scientist Sebastian Wernicke breaks down what goes wrong when we make decisions based purely on data — and suggests a brainier way to use it. What viewers don't realize is that, while they're watching their shows, actually, they are being watched. They are being watched by their teams, who record everything. They record when somebody presses play, when somebody presses pause, what parts they skip, what parts they watch again. So they collect millions of data points, because they want to have those data points to then decide which show they should make. And sure enough, so they collect all the data, they do all the data crunching, and an answer emerges.
Voters might want take all those presidential polls coming out of wintry New Hampshire with a grain of road salt.
The Iowa caucuses showed that survey-takers had a tough time pinning down the state's fickle electorate, and pollsters face some of the same challenges in next-up New Hampshire.
China is considering a new "social credit" system, designed to rate everyone's trustworthiness. Many fear that it will become a tool of social control -- but in reality it has a lot in common with the algorithms and systems that score and classify us all every day.
Behavioral economics, social psychology and the big game.
L. Jon Wertheim, a writer at Sports Illustrated, and Sam Sommers, a psychology professor at Tufts, are the authors of This is Your Brain on Sports: The Science of Underdogs, the Value of Rivalry, and What We Can Learn from the T-Shirt Cannon
In 1996, IBM's Deep Blue became the first supercomputer to defeat a chess grandmaster, Garry Kasparov, in a game. A year later Deep Blue edged Kasparov 3½-2½ in a full match. Why should you, a football fan, care? Because, as the late linebacker Junior Seau once said, "football is a chess game."
To protect the heads of football players, it might be advisable to have them occasionally practice without head protection, according to a counterintuitive new study of a successful Division I football program.
While officers raced to a recent 911 call about a man threatening his ex-girlfriend, a police operator in headquarters consulted software that scored the suspect's potential for violence the way a bank might run a credit report.
The program scoured billions of data points, including arrest reports, property records, commercial databases, deep Web searches and the man's social- media postings. It calculated his threat level as the highest of three color-coded scores: a bright red warning.
For the past century, the price and performance of computing has been on an exponential curve. And as futurist Ray Kurzweil observed, once any technology becomes an information technology, its development follows the same curve, so we are seeing exponential advances in technologies such as sensors, networks, artificial intelligence, and robotics. The convergence of these technologies is making amazing things possible.