Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Smartphones to Predict Human Behavior

The social and behavioral sensing platform has been aptly named ‘Behavio’ which interprets human behavior through Google’s Android sensors. Journalism is taking yet another plunge into the tech world. And vice versa. Now we have tech specialists delving into journalism. As of this year, Knight Foundation that provides financial support to Harvard’s Neiman Journalism Lab, is following the order of the day by combining technology with journalism. This year, one of the six winners of the ‘Knight News Challenge’ were in fact, not journalists, but a team of Android programmers who received USD 1.3 million prize as funding for their software framework model.
Where mobile companies are being hounded by numerous lawsuits against them for invading user privacy and storing personal information, the same is being constructively inferred for social development. For instance, recording movements and tracking location over a period of time will generate an average median that forecasts travel plans. The assimilation based on mobile tracking sensors will even be able to gauge epidemics even before they hit particular vicinity.
This is not the first attempt of its kind. The Wall Street Journal reported last year how ‘people’s movements followed a mathematical pattern’ and how collecting past behavior patterns can accurately predict future behavior. Earlier studies involving mobile usage and behavior had proven how cell phones’ data tracking log can reveal character traits and predict crowd behavior. One instance is that of a two-year experiment by MIT researchers that involved 60 families. Cell phone sensors were combined with personal information to show the extent of influence certain individuals exercised over others. Other similar studies showed cultural and political divide within one community based on their interest and social activities.
Armed with this kind of authentic information, journalists will be able to report without requiring physical resources and coverage. And it will be a great source for academics, particularly sociologists and psychologists to not just understand, but solve issues in this context.
Funf (fun framework) is currently available in beta version, ‘funf in a box’ for mobile developers to createAndroid applications through a Dropbox account. Currently available as beta version, developers are strongly recommended i) their apps not be used for large amount of data collection and ii) to select their users carefully, because they will have access to each others’ data.
Originally Posted By SocialJitney.Com

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