WSI Workshop with Tsinghua: Data Observatories for Smart Futures

On Tuesday, the 27th of November, the Web Science Institute invited Tsinghua University from Beijing to discuss Data Observatories in the future.

The workshop held at the Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton began with an opening from Professor Dame Wendy Hall, Executive Director of the WSI. She talked about how Data Observatories technology is changing quickly in the modern era and there are several aspects of concern such as Data Observation and sharing, Data Trust (Social Legal and Ethical Issues) and Application of data observatories.

Professor Jianping Wu, the father of the Internet in China, opened the workshops with a keynote and    stated that the Internet is the infrastructure of Cyberspace and smart future. He emphasised the importance of Internet Architecture, which is the design of a communication network. Moreover, he also discussed challenges from the current Internet with six challenges needing to be solved in the future: Scalability, Security, Performance, Mobility, Real-Time, and Management.

Professor Elena Simperl from the University of Southampton talked about her Data Pitch Project which was funded by European Union’s Horizon, and four organisations from UK, France Portugal. There were three tracks and challenges during implementation of the project: Data providers, Sectoral and Open innovation. She said that the lessons learned were not only to focus on large corporation data sharing but to acknowledge that data can be shared in every sector and across sector.

The speaker from Ocean Protocol, Paul Galwas started with a 4th revelation: ICT reshaping culture and a decentralised data exchange protocol to unlock data from AI. He pointed out data trading and sharing are challenging in technology, governance, and business sector. Furthermore, Ocean Protocol uses blockchain technologies to enable collaboration at scale in a standardised integral and secure way.

Dr Kieron O’Hara posed the question ‘what is Data Trust and what does it mean for the future”. He pointed out that trusts cannot be manufactured and we do not want to increase trust; we want to align trust and trustworthiness. All we can do is to behave in a trustworthy manner such as communicate your trustworthiness, credible commitments, transparency, and engagement.

On the subject of applications of data observatories, Professor Yike Guo from Imperial College, London showed Data Observatories and its practice. The Large visualised platform, which involves a social space and a Quantified approach.

The workshop ended with some questions from the audience, which involved issues of data observatories, data trusts, and applications of data observatories. The speakers and participants interacted in the workshop to inspire new ideas and exchange different information. It was a brand new chapter for the data observation field.



Blog written by Erica Chang, WSI Digichamp

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