Office, windows (evening), office staff

The Impact of Big Data

Date: Time: 16:45 Location: Blackbox, Esplanade building, Tilburg University

*FULLY BOOKED* Using smart algorithms to analyze data trails that we generate through our interaction with digital environments is booming business. How exactly does the increasing use of Big Data influence our modern society? Does it even go so far as altering the way we think and act? Find out all you need to know during this ‘pressure-cooker-lecture’. (English / SG-Certificate*)

Time: 16:45-17:45 hrs.  
Only admission after registration.

This program is fully booked: registration is no longer possible.

Autonomous Individuals 

Enlightenment thinkers defined our self-image as rational agents. Our cognitive and moral profile says that we are autonomous individuals, acting responsibly at the basis of considered reasons, established by relevant and appropriately processed information, committed to sharing our reasons and critically discussing them with others. This may be an ideal, but it finds itself at the basis of many of our social institutions, including our legal and educational systems. Even if we do not always live up to it, we know what is expected from us.

The Impact of Big Data

Does this Enlightenment ideal still work for the 21st century? Today, digital technologies are changing the nature of communication, commerce, marketing, entertainment, social relations, education, work, politics, and many other aspects of modern society. Particularly striking is how commercial parties as well as governments and others now routinely harvest Big Data as a ‘behavioral surplus’ for a wide range of purposes: to better serve their clients, to enhance the client experience, to identify potential needs or dangers, to predict market developments, to nudge clients towards desirable behavior, or simply to collect data that can be sold to interested third parties.

Knowledge & Agency

Does Big Data compromise our Enlightenment self-image, especially when it comes to our knowledge and agency? And if this is the case, how we should respond? Should we give up the old ideal that seemed to have worked well in previous centuries? Or should we redesign rational agency to meet the demands of the current age?

Jan Sleutels

Jan Sleutels teaches Philosophy of Mind, Media Philosophy and Metaphysics at Leiden University. His research focusses on the role of communication technologies (such as the Internet, Big Data, but also speech, writing and printing press) and how these organize mental processes. His research is inspired by the Toronto School hypothesis in communication theory, which says that identity conditions for mental contents are responsive to pressures from historically changing technological conditions. Jan Sleutels studied Philosophy in Nijmegen where he also obtained his PhD on the philosophy of cognitive sciences.

Jan Sleutels

All You Need to Know About…

This is a lecture in the series of introductory lectures on essential topics and inspirational thinkers in academia and the arts. After this ‘pressure cooker’ of maximum 60 minutes by an expert you can safely engage in a conversation about the topic discussed. Read more about the series All You Need to Know About...

More information

This lecture is organized by Studium Generale in cooperation with study associations  Flow and Sapientia Ludenda.

Contact: Hannah van den Bosch (Studium Generale).

* For students, this lecture may count towards the SG-Certificate. Check the SG-Certificate website for all the terms and conditions. There will be no recording of this lecture available afterwards, so make sure you attend!

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