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DVUX Meetup: Demystifying the Black Box

  • Venture Café, 5th floor CIC Cambridge One Broadway Cambridge, MA 02142 (map)

‘The Black Box’ is an expression people use to describe something mysterious that does something cool, but hard for people to understand how it works.

Data visualization helps us understand the Black Box by putting a friendly, usable wrapper around a collection of inputs: data, algorithms, or processes that have not been made user-friendly yet.

In this environment of AI, machine learning, and various clever algorithms, Black Boxes are proliferating all around us. We are asked to trust them all the time — cars that operate on auto-pilot, various recommendation engines that suggest things they think you will like, hyper-local weather reports telling you it will start raining five minutes from now at your exact location.

Cool. But how do we know whether to trust them? How do we know what level of confidence or uncertainty they come with? What if the Black Box gets it wrong? How much of a risk are we taking to follow their advice? Can some form of data visualization or interaction model help?

Come to the next DVUX Meetup to hear and share ideas about this topic that is increasingly impacting our professional and personal lives.

NOTE: This time, we are going to ask you to do some "homework". Please bring with you a printout of a data representation that you are either working on or that you find intriguing.
We will spend some time at the beginning of the meetup to circulate the examples for feedback and comments. You have the option to volunteer your example for an open critique session, but that is not required.

Enjoy drinks at Meadhall afterwards! For the full agenda and to RSVP, click here