Christopher Wylie, the whistle-blower in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, has been announced as a keynote speaker at DataFest 2019, the UK’s first two-week festival of Data Innovation in Scotland.
Wylie’s keynote address will take place at The Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh on the 21st March 2019, and will mark the formal opening of Data Summit, the two-day international conference aimed at showcasing compelling stories on data-driven innovation through a series of keynotes, panels and pitches.
Speaking on the keynote announcement Gillian Docherty, Chief Executive for The Data Lab, said: “DataFest will showcase Scotland’s leading role in data science and artificial intelligence on the international stage, while offering an unprecedented networking platform where you can interact with local and international talent, industry, academia and data enthusiasts.”
DataFest 19 has been extended to two weeks for the first time to take account of the huge interest in the Data Fest Fringe Events programme around the country – which is expected to be bigger than ever before. Fringe events include meetups, debates, public engagement and Data Science training programmes.
After Wylie revealed the nefarious practices of Cambridge Analytica last year, inquiries in the UK, the United States and the EU have been held to assess the impact of social media on democracy.
Evidence provided by Wylie also exposed disturbing links between the Alt-Right movement and Russian intelligence networks, which prompted major investigations in both the UK and US.
Docherty said: “The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal broke during DataFest 18 and shifted the focus of the event to data ethics.
“Since the scandal broke, social media and data have never been so much in the limelight. It is therefore fantastic to have Wylie with us for DataFest 19 to reflect on the conversation over the past year.”
Wylie now splits his time between London, New York, LA and Stockholm, and is currently the Director of Research for Hennes & Mauritz (‘H&M’), and his work on quantifying fashion style with AI systems is already having a major impact on the fashion sector.