In the age of AI and metric driven content, what is the role/value of human curation for large sets of data? What does this mean for our autonomy? What happens at the intersection of big data and humanity and how do we use data for good? Who owns the data and how should it be archived?

The Frankfurt Big Data Lab has posted an open letter outlining suggested principles with the goal of bringing “people and institutions together who share the motivation to use Data for Common Good / human well-being.” The principles are:

  1. Do no harm
  2. Use data to help create peaceful coexistence
  3. Use data to help vulnerable people and people in need
  4. Use data to preserve and improve natural environment
  5. Use data to help create a fair world without discrimination

These are some conversations that we can be having across disciplines as we meet the challenges of balancing the power of innovation with the accompanying responsibility of implementation. What do we think about these principles? Are they effective in promoting the common good? Do we share these responsibilities? Why? What other principles might we want to add?



  • Tell us – How is data changing and influencing creativity and storytelling in your community? Share via Twitter thread or send us a blog post via Google Form or email (see guidelines).
  • Submit your short-form essay about using data to tell a story (300-600 words) or submit another creative work (visualization, art, video, music, etc.) to be featured on the LDW blog

Discussion Prompts

  • Are the Frankfurt Big Data Lab’s principles effective? What else should be added or considered?
  • We hear a lot about isolation and echo chambers. How does data expand conversations and bring people together?
  • At the intersection of algorithms and data curation, how does human-powered discovery add meaning?
  • Who owns our data? When patients don’t have access to their own health data or consumers are barred from the benefits of their data contributions, questions of benefit and access arise. Where are these conversations happening?