CESifo and the ifo Institute are inviting submissions for its Junior workshop on Big Data, directed at PhD students and post-docs in their early years after getting their degree.
Data is the new oil, goes the saying. Indeed, it has many similarities with the black stuff: it must be extracted, refined and converted into products to make it valuable. But it also has major differences: it does not diminish in quantity when you extract it and, while it is more democratically distributed around the world, it is not always easy to trade it across borders. Producing and consuming data does not threaten to cook the planet in anything near the measure that consuming and burning oil does. And often, you pay for enjoying the products of data also by handing over more data—your own, personal data.
A further difference with oil can prove crucial: the more data is available, the more valuable it becomes. Virtually every activity, well beyond just those associated with smartphones and the internet, creates a digital trace. Predictions show that in 2025 more data will be generated than in all the years of human existence until then—a phenomenon that has been happening every year for quite a while now.
Artificial intelligence is the best tool for extracting value from this apparently limitless volume of raw data. And data, in turn, makes AI more intelligent. Where this will lead is still the subject of heated debate.
What is clear is that, just like oil, data will transform many aspects of every economy. And it will also transform economic research. What has your Big Data-based research brought to light? What new methods for exploiting this new resource for research have you used or developed? Where do you see new fields of research being made possible by adding Big Data to the toolbox?
BEST PAPER AWARD
A €500 prize will be awarded to the best paper presented at the workshop.
Submissions link: https://ifo-cesifo-events.org/frontend/index.php?sub=123