ACADEMIC CONSCIENCE

DailyPost 545

ACADEMIC CONSCIENCE

The core competency of the world seems to have converged in murky dealings. The heady mix of commercial, politics & research and development leading to the development of algorithmic products, leading to bountiful harvest seems to be the emerging model of the 21st century. Businesses had lost their conscience long time back but what is startling is to find Cambridge University in the thick of the scandal.

Cambridge University is now coming under immense pressure in the way it handled mass data harvesting which is at the centre of the Facebook / Cambridge scandal. As per Guardian based on emails, Cambridge University was in the know of things since May 2014. In one mail, then Asst. Professor who is involved in this saga, Aleksandr Kogan, was confronted, his activities being branded a ”get rich quick” scheme. The correspondence reflects the anxiety of the university psychologists over the activities of Kogan. Kogan was in touch with Strategic Communication Laboratories(SCL), the parent company of Cambridge Analytica.

While everybody wants to be well positioned in their comfort zone, the only role they play of a destructive bystander. Oversight & due diligence are only in academic & corporate ppts now. There is nothing in operation at business enterprises, universities & in the government itself. Kogan later went on to work for Facebook. The link is conspicuous.

Cambridge University’s Psychometrics Centre has pioneered the study of psychology through large-scale Data Analysis. Prof. John Rust, Centre Head has accused Kogan of making $1m in ”personal profit in terms of asset & data,” whole shelling out $1,00,000 to fellow psychologists, who had lead the cutting end research. These details clearly indicate the rot that set in &deep rooted nexus which might be in operation, across campuses doing cutting edge research. Time to get into legalese & promises for all criminal stakeholders to escape.

THE END OF ACADEMIC CONSCIENCE PORTENDS BAD OMEN FOR NEUTRAL PATH BREAKING R&D.

Sanjay Sahay

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