Panel 1

The cheese in the black box

Algorithms, big data, and Uber: What scientists and engineers need to do about accountability, transparency, privacy and governance?


In 1998, in the book, "Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life", Spencer Johnson tells a tale of mice, men and change. Scott Adams, the author of the ineffable Dilbert comic strip, sees the fable as a praise of uncritical acquiescence to corporate and societal changes.

Information and communication technology seems to have the inexhaustible faculty to dramatically transfigure our world. Computing, personal computing, the Internet, artificial intelligence, the World Wide Web, mobile communication and computing, big data, algorithms, the internet of things have been the instruments of the creation of new societal and business models, the Information Society, Cloud computing, crowdsourcing and now the promise of a new economic model: Uberization. They redefine every aspect of our lives: the way we get cash (credit scoring), the way we search and what we find (page ranking), how much we pay for goods and services (dynamic and surge pricing), what we know about ourselves and others (genome sequencing, profiling), etc.

Should we unconditionally embrace the change?

Frank Pasquale is Professor of Law at the University of Maryland, Affiliate Fellow at Yale Law School's Information Society Project, and a member of the Council for Big Data, Ethics, and Society. In the 2015 book "The Black Box Society, The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information", he argues that the new big data infrastructure, from collection to analysis, is defective by design. He advocates that policies should implement due process principles and he calls for intelligibility and accountability. In 2015, the signatories of the "Open Letter on Artificial Intelligence", among which theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and Microsoft research Director Eric Horvitz, expressed their concern about the societal impacts of artificial intelligence.

Without entering the heated political debates about these transformations, this panel will discuss what computing, communication and control scientists and engineers should research, design and develop in order to move this cheese into the right direction. Namely, the panelist will argue what research questions need to be addressed and what engineering solutions need to be developed in order to enforce accountability, to trace provenance, to mediate between transparency and privacy, and to support proper governance alongside work on bigger, faster, more ubiquitous, more pervasive, more autonomous and more intelligent big data cyber-physical systems.


Stéphane Bressan is Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science of the School of Computing (SoC) at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Stéphane is Track leader for Maritime Information Technologies at NUS Centre for Maritime Studies (CMS). He is Affiliate Professor at NUS Business Analytics Centre. He is researcher at Image & Pervasive Access Lab (IPAL) (Singapore-France CNRS UMI 29255). Stéphane's research interest is the integration, management and analysis of data from heterogeneous, disparate and distributed sources.

He is the author of more than 100 articles in international peer reviewed conferences and journals. He is member of the steering committee of the Database Systems for Advanced Applications conference series (DASFAA) and founding and steering committee member of the International Organization for Information Integration and Web-based Applications & Services (@WAS). He serves on the committees of numerous international peer reviewed conferences and journals.

Stéphane graduated in 1987 with a degree in Computer Science, Electronics and Process Automation from the Ecole Universitaire D'Ingénieurs de Lille (France) (now Polytech Lille ) and received his Master and his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1988 and 1992, respectively, from the Laboratoire D'informatique Fondamentale of the University of Lille (France). In 1990, Stéphane joined the European Computer-industry Research Centre (ECRC) of Bull, ICL, and Siemens in Munich (Germany). In 1994, he was appointed site Leader of the Database Platform project and Principal Investigator and Work-package Manager for the European IDEA ESPRIT project on Intelligent Databases. From 1996 to 1998, he was Research Associate at the Sloan School of Management of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (United States of America).

Panel 2

Education in the Digital Economy - eStrategies for the future of learning


The education sector is faced with tectonic changes. Not only interactions among stakeholders in the education processes are changed, new methods of teaching, learning and new business models are being explored. Today the use of ICT among the student generation is widely adopted and as such all the studies, from engineering to humanities, are faced with these challenges.

The workshop will seek answers to the questions of how, where, and who. How we can use the existing technologies to support different kinds of studies, learning styles, and education curriculum? How do we adjust and reinvent methodologies to support different learning goals and expected outcomes. How do we adjust the organizational structures and processes, define new business models that will work in and so-called University 2.0 environment? What are the roles and responsibilities of the? Can we bring education, science and industry closer by incorporating innovative ICT?


Matt Glowatz is Assistant Professor in the College of Business at University College Dublin (UCD) delivering both undergraduate and postgraduate modules covering Social Media Strategy, Project Management, Business Analytics, Digital Marketing and Innovation. His main research interests cover electronic learning (eLearning), Innovation and Social Media related themes.

Matt is the academic coordinator for international students, member of the College Teaching & Learning committee UCD's Centre for the Future of Learning. He is also the subject area coordinator for overseas MIS modules offered in Singapore, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka. Matt received twice the School of Business Excellence in Teaching Awards and won the Irish Internet Association's Educational Contribution Award recognizing his contribution to the Irish Internet Industry through education.

In March 2015, Matt was invited to deliver the closing keynote address at the inaugural EdTECx event in Ireland discussing the future of educational technologies in the context of the higher education sector.

Matt successfully completed an academic case study writing and teaching programme from the Harvard Business School between July 2015 and February 2016