Arty Data Mining Critique

Check out Personas, an art project hosted by MIT. It's a visually interesting critique of data mining. The project invites users to see "how the Internet sees them." The site "attempts to characterize the person - to fit them to a predetermined set of categories that an algorithmic process created from a massive corpus of data."

The project is not a wholesale indictment of data mining -- though it's not very friendly toward data miners either -- but rather highlights the importance of smart and ethical design, and the vital role of the human brain in designing and implementing the results of data mining projects.

Netflix recommendation system = good; weaponized drone that makes autonomous decisions about targets = bad. (Or for that matter, a data mining project that uses name as the unique identifier = bad.)