Invited Speaker, Northeastern University professor, Sam Scarpino: “Good data saves lives: But what are good data?”

Video recording now available


Data alone can’t solve our problems. In fact, data often creates more problems than they solve. The way we quantify and qualify impact defines our values and what we mean by “good data.” In this talk, I will describe how the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic highlighted longstanding issues around equity, privacy, and sovereignty, which can’t be solved by technology alone. Then, I will discuss how the kind of informational dynamics associated with complex living systems present unique challenges to artificial intelligence. Addressing these challenges can facilitate a healthier, more equitable future for the planet, but requires a user-centered process of co-creation with on-the-ground partners and strong collaborations between core AI researchers, data scientists and scientists working on far ranging aspects of living systems. Only by taking such an equity-first approach can we hope for a future where data are a public good that drives value from nations to neighborhoods.

About the speaker:

Samuel V. Scarpino, PhD, is the Director of AI + Life Sciences at Northeastern University and a Professor of the Practice in Health and Computer Sciences. He also holds appointments at Northeastern in the Network Science Institute and the Roux Institute. Prior to joining Northeastern, Scarpino was a Vice President at The Rockefeller Foundation, Chief Strategy Officer at Dharma Platform, and co-founded, an open data science initiative.