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Data-Toting Cops

Mornings at 7:00, Wade Brabble has decisions to make. So in the last year, he has come to rely upon a computer-generated forecast of where crime will happen on his day shift as a police lieutenant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Depending on …Continue reading

Taking Genomic Data Global

Colon cancer is less common in India than in the U.S., but it tends to affect younger people and to be more aggressive when it does occur. Indians with colon cancer also have different genetic mutations from the ones affecting patients who …Continue reading

A Big Bet That Gene Editing Will Cure Human Disease

Huddled with Wall Street investment bankers outside a hotel ballroom in downtown New York last January, Katrine Bosley was getting some sobering news. The stock market, falling since early December, was continuing to dive, with her industry, biotechnology, especially hard hit. The …Continue reading

Has Big Data Made Anonymity Impossible?

In 1995, the European Union introduced privacy legislation that defined “personal data” as any information that could identify a person, directly or indirectly. The legislators were apparently thinking of things like documents with an identification number, and they wanted them protected just …Continue reading

The Power to Decide

Back in 1956, an engineer and a mathematician, William Fair and Earl Isaac, pooled $800 to start a company. Their idea: a score to handicap whether a borrower would repay a loan. It was all done with pen and paper. Income, gender, …Continue reading

Predictive Apps Mine Your Life

A new type of mobile app is departing from a long-standing practice in computing. Typically, computers have just dumbly waited for their human operators to ask for help. But now applications based on machine learning software can speak up with timely information …Continue reading

Data Won the Election. Can it Save the World

As chief scientist for President Obama’s reëlection effort, Rayid Ghani helped revolutionize the use of data in politics. During the final 18 months of the campaign, a sprawling team of data and software experts sifted, collated, and combined dozens of pieces of …Continue reading

The Data Made Me Do It

Would you trade your personal data for a peek into the future? Andreas Weigend did. Weigend, the former chief scientist of Amazon.com who now directs Stanford University’s Social Data Lab, told me a story about awakening at dawn to catch a flight …Continue reading

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