Data in Context with Dr Audrey Lobo-Pulo (#37)
We talk about context and resilience, and how we approach living systems.
Dr Audrey Lobo-Pulo currently works at LinkedIn and holds a PhD in Physics and a Masters in Economic Policy. She is also accredited by the International Bateson Institute to host and conduct Warm data labs.
A member of the World Economic Forum Expert Network for the Future of Digital Economy and Society, Civic Participation and the Future of Government, Audrey is passionate about how technology may be designed for better government and societal outcomes.
Previously a Senior Policy Advisor for the Australian Treasury, Audrey has worked for over a decade in areas relating to Australia’s labour market, taxation and social policy.
A long-standing advocate of Open Source Models in Government, Audrey is deeply interested in how information evolves and flows within society. She is also a Cybernetics enthusiast and a student of human sense-making.
In our conversation, we talk about context and resilience, and how we approach living systems.
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[00:01:08] Audrey’s journey beginning with physics.
[00:01:30] A desire to become closer to nature.
[00:02:10] Seeing gender disparity.
[00:03:21] Limited by the job opportunities available in theoretical physics.
[00:04:03] Applying her skills in mathematical modelling to policy.
[00:04:52] Applying human behaviour to statistical modelling
[00:06:21] “the map is not the territory” - Alfred Korzybski
[00:06:56] COVID modelling.
[00:08:32] What does the data actually mean?
[00:09:17] Objectivity and subjectivity in data.
[00:10:36] Data that is ‘alive’.
[00:11:58] The ecosystem around the data.
[00:13:02] Observations and ethics around how we anchor data.
[00:16:33] Thinking about how we recontextualise data.
[00:17:24] Anecdote: Anchoring data around homelessness
[00:19:19] Project Management: The Tyre Swing Problem
[00:21:11] Human-in-the-loop or HITL
[00:21:22] The human should be part of the whole process
[00:22:18] Natural living systems
[00:23:07] The relationship between “warm data” and “cold data”
[00:24:15] Humans contextualise data in ways that cannot be measured
[00:24:58] Acknowledging the subjective data
[00:26:24] Drawing a line for what is relevant
[00:27:12] How viable is the dataset for solving the problem?
[00:28:00] Impact of seemingly unrelated contexts on each other - consider the pandemic and the open source movement
[00:29:53] The potential for our current problems to be solved through considering other contexts
[00:30:54] Developing technology with a more wholistic view of the ecosystem in mind
[00:33:39] Vulnerable first and inclusive systems design for more robust and resilient solutions
[00:37:01] Designing systems is very contextual - when is a model appropriate to use?
[00:39:20] Humans are complex
[00:40:14] Oversimplification of concepts hinders sense-making
[00:43:37] Civic engagement and rethinking the idea of consensus
[00:48:14] Making space for sense-making and deliberation
[00:50:07] Emotional and subjective data is just as valid and valuable as objective data
[00:51:26] The more data we have available the more we need to consider the context
[00:54:34] Self-awareness and factoring in both bias and collective knowledge
[00:57:43] The need for perspective to better understand what you’re trying to solve
[01:00:43] A wish to see a co-evolution of technology with nature taking into account all the interdependencies
[01:01:55] The richness of our living systems
[01:04:07] How warm data labs provide perspectives
[01:05:43] AI for facial recognition and emotion detection
[01:07:02] Warm data adds additional dimensions of context beyond the purely objective
[01:09:40] Context for compassionate tech and compassion in tech
[01:13:44] Bonus Question 1: What hobby or interest do you have that is most unrelated to your field of work?
[01:13:48] Cybernetics and living systems
[01:15:46] Bias in psychometric testing
[01:18:08] Once again in the liminal space between machine and nature
[01:19:51] Bonus Question 2: Which childhood book holds the strongest memories for you?
[01:23:27] Bonus Question 3: What advice you would give someone who wants to do what you do? Or what advice should they ignore?
[01:26:47] Finding out more about Audrey’s work
[01:28:55] The philosophy of data
[01:29:50] Mutable memories as data
- Australian Federal Treasury
- Prof Janine Illian (STEAM Powered (#9))
- Alfred Korzybski (wiki)
- big data (wiki)
- Chris Hildrey (Hildrey Studio) (@chrishildrey)
- The Tree Swing Cartoon (Business Balls)
- Human-in-the-loop (wiki)
- Nora Bateson (@NoraBateson)
- Gregory Bateson (wiki)
- The International Bateson Institute
- warm data (Bateson Instititute)
- Dr Dani Barrington (STEAM Powered (#24))
- warm data labs (Bateson Institute)
- cybernetics (wiki)
- psychometrics (wiki)
- Gregory Bateson BookDepository GoodReads
- Mind and Nature by Gregory Bateson BookDepository GoodReads
- Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World by Kevin Kelly BookDepository GoodReads
- The Ego Trick: In Search Of The Self by Julian Baggini BookDepository GoodReads
- Designing Digital Technologies for Civic-Engagement amidst social media
- The subtle art of data gathering with Warm Data
- Regulating AI is really an opportunity to re-design our Systems
Find out more about Dr Audrey Lobo-Pulo and their work
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