Big data: resource of society or elites

We invite you to take part in a panel discussion on big data as a resource of society or elites organized by the Digital Sociometrics Lab of Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory and the ICT Hub on Friday 20th December 2019, 6 PM, at the ICT Hub (10 Kralja Milana St., Belgrade). Participation is free of charge.

Analysis of big data makes it possible to discover useful findings about society, but also opens space for manipulation. Data gathering can be done with direct or indirect consent of individuals, which triggers ethical issues exploited around the Cambridge Analytica case and the new European regulations aimed at protection of personal data.


Mihajlo Popesku

Auspex International

Mihajlo is former Head of Research at Cambridge Analytica. Since his graduation at the University of Nottingham he has been engaged by the leading companies in data analysis. Mihajlo leads data-driven campaigns in political arena for Auspex International.

Mirko Savić

Faculty of Economics, University of Novi Sad

Mirko is among the first practitioners in advanced statistical analysis in Serbia. He coordinates the Erasmus+ project, while being in charge of the Advanced Data Analytics Business studies.

Ljubiša Bojić

Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade

As co-author of the software for digital media analytics Ljubiša has been creating psychometric algorithms and innovative methods in an effort to explore the society. He is Coordinator at the Digital Sociometrics Lab.

Jelisaveta Petrović

Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade

In her research inquiries Jelisaveta examines how to use big data in social sciences. She gathered researchers around the idea to form the Digital Socimetrics Lab.

Social media mapping, sentiment analysis, comparison between likes and data from online surveys and automatic photo analysis are some of the basic directions of big data research in social sciences. For example, sentiment analysis uses linguistics and algorithms to make contextual conclusions. Researchers manged to map blogospheres of republicans and democrats in the USA, with a conclusion that winners were better connected to the “outside world.” Also, personality types and Facebook likes were analyzed to find out that extroverts and introverts have different preferences. One of the findings relating to the application of AI algorithms is that sexual orientation can be judged based on facial configurations acquired from social media photos. Some research inquiries have their own practical value for creating individual ads in realm of digital marketing. The question which arises is whether this is improvement of communication or serves as a ground for customer manipulation.

Goal of this panel discussion is illuminating issues significant to big data researchers such as:

  • Benefits of big data for social sciences and society
  • Purpose and potentials of artificial intelligence in big data
  • Ethical issues arising around social media analysis
  • Challenges of multidisciplinary approach
  • Future directions of big data in social sciences