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Critical Terms in Futures Studies


The collection and analysis of data using computers has become central to the functioning of societies in the twenty-first century. The field called data science, which includes classical statistical and newer methods to handle “big data,” has become popular ever since. Dozens of professional fields have started to employ data scientists to extract value and generate predictions from their data. But what is “data”? While human societies have used data-like representations for thousands of years, the large-scale adoption of digital computers has imposed a number of constraints on what counts as data (or datasets) today. Datasets are not just any collections of some information; they are objects structured in ways that allow them to exist within a computational medium.

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Manovich, L. (2019). Data. In: Paul, H. (eds) Critical Terms in Futures Studies. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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