Reality Mining : Big Brother at MIT Media Lab

May 8th, 2005 | Filed under: Internet, Mapping, Social, Technology, Urbanism | No Comments »

Reality Mining, headed by Nathan Eagle at MIT Media Lab, captures communication, proximity, location, and phone activity information from 100 Bluetooth enabled Symbian Series 60 cell phones. The project aims to reveal the inner workings of social systems as patterns of micro-behavior, accompanied by surveys, are accurately recorded and visualized. Upon completion, the dataset which will exceed 60 years of individual behavior will be release to the public (anonymous version, of course).

Our research agenda takes advantage of the increasingly widespread use of mobile phones to provide insight into the dynamics of both individual and group behavior. By leveraging recent advances in machine learning we are building generative models that can be used to predict what a single user will do next, as well as model behavior of large organizations. . .

* How do incoming students’ social networks evolve over time?
* How entropic (predictable) are most people’s lives?
* Can the topology of a social network be inferred from only proximity data?
* How can we change a group’s interactions to promote better functioning?

If you have a Symbian Series 60 Phone (such as the Nokia 6600) with a data plan, you can participate. Download the application here.

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