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6 November 2014

Am I Normal? Why Self-Quantifying is for Everyone

Location: Meeting Room 10, 2nd Floor, JLB
Time: 12:30pm - 13:45pm

Technology for self measurement and monitoring has now reached a tipping point in terms of cost, size, availability, connectivity and ubiquity. Until recently, detailed measurement of physiological and behavioural data has been restricted to elite athletics and expensive medical facilities. Cost aside, the overhead and invasiveness of the technologies has been a barrier for all but those with both money and a strong motivation to use the data. In this talk I will be arguing that the ability for ordinary people to passively collect data about themselves at low cost over a long period of time can help with automatic detection and prevention of physical and mental health problems. I will also discuss how inexpensive genome testing can guide people to the best ways to take advantage of their self-tracking data. Finally I will point out some of the pitfalls and risk associated with self-quantifying technologies and how we are working to address them. NOTE: This is a practice talk for a TEDx talk I have been invited to give in Cyprus later this month. The theme of this TEDx is “Look Deeper” inspired by C. Wright Mills’s 1959 book “The Sociological Imagination”. As such I will be attempting a non-academic TED style and I intend to be well under the 17 minute TED maximum so the punishment will be brief in exchange for the lunch.

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Contact: mailto:paul.piwek@open.ac.uk