The Next 3 Innovations in Data you Should Know Of

As our founder Elena Poughia said during our TOA meetup last month: ‘We generate so much content on the internet, future archeologists will have access to an abundant amount of cultural heritage.” Through data, recorded on rocks, paper, print and lately digitally, mankind evolved through time. Today, we keep on creating and innovating. 

During TOA, Data Natives hosted a satellite event with three speakers who rocked the stage with great innovations they are working on. If you could not make it to the event, no problem. We will talk you through the tricks and tools you can actually put to use. So sit comfortably, buckle up and let’s check it out: 

The simulation tool empowering renewable energy

Transitioning to renewable energy is crucial, but a slow process. With their D3A tool, Grid Singularity wants to change the way the energy market works and speed up the process. More people are owning renewable energy sources and energy saving devices and Grid Singularity wants to make use of that. They created a market model that allows devices in a households and even neighbourhoods to trade energy with each other, in order to optimise consumption. 

“If you allow these devices to interact on the grid you connect the economic and physical reality,” tells D3A Product Owner Dr. Sarah Hambridge during her talk.

“You constantly pay the same price for energy. If at a certain time a lot of energy is consumed and there is a lot of stress on the grid, you do not see this reflected into the economic aspect. We want to change that.” 

Their system is now a tryout simulation tool that data scientist can use for free. You can model your own electricity grid, by setting a type of grid, add devices and play around with scenarios to see results. Everything in their backend if available on Github and open source. “Every trade is reported. It’s a wealth of data,” says Hambridge. 

Breaking stuff in chatrooms

When ethical hacker Dr. Melanie Rieback saw the open source chatbot Q bot, she realised the potential. Now, her non-profit computer security consultancy Radically Open Security works with customers via a ChatOp: a chatbot turned into a command and control center of your business. At the meetup she tells: 

“What is so brilliant about that, is you can mix human communications with machine commands and allow teams to work together.”  

Radically Open Security wants to “take the blackbox of security consulting and have it explode inside out”, in order to change the market and make it as open and transparent as possible. “We invite customers inside of our chatroom so they can watch us breaking their stuff. It’s a lot of fun,” smiles Rieback. The chatroom is the office of the company and every single thing the staff says or does can be observed by the customer. “It’s almost like providing a free training with every pen test they buy.” 

The chatbot can invoke a bunch of tools. You would be able to access the full set of commands through your cellphone and launch an attack, while this usually requires a lot of storage space. Radically Open Security is also able to demonstrate a phishing attack. The security officer of the customer can get into a chatroom and watch while their own employees are getting phished. There are many ways you can improve customer experience by providing openness and transparency through ChatOps. 

Moving to data donorship

The good part is, we are getting much older than before. The bad part is, our chances of getting sick also increase as we age. Half of the population gets cancer and twenty-five percent a stroke. Medical AI researchers such as Vince Madai try to find solutions to these diseases. One of these solutions is finding treatment that fits to everyone’s unique physical makeup. 

“When you get a throat ache and you go to the doctor to get medication, we all get the same,” Madai tells at our meetup. “So if you are lucky, you are similar to the persons its tested on. But if you are female or belong to a minority group, you might be less happy and you can even suffer side effects.” 

Madai believes there are big promises for healthcare if it teams up with AI:

“We could prevent disease better, have less side effects to treatments, lower costs and extent lives.”

But there are also a lot of challenges, mostly to do with data privacy. Lots of data isn’t made available for research and there is few infrastructure to make use of the data. 

Some governments, like Estonia and Israel, have made data more open to access, reasoning that some scenarios individual rights should be surpassed for the greater good. Still, Madai thinks this change will not happen fast enough in the healthcare sector. 

That is why he proposes data donorship infrastructure, so citizens will be able to decide on how to share their medical information. “A lot of people will be happy to share their data once they know who can access it and what can be done with it.” In that way, we are all able to do our part for the greater good.  

Data Natives hosts events in over 50 tech hubs around the globe, the right place for data pioneers to get inspired, meet like minded people and just have fun. We would love to see you at one of our events. Have a look at our events page to see where you can find us. 


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