Data Science Roundtables

The South Big Data Hub Roundtable Series provides an open discussion forum focusing on emerging research challenges in data science and analytics, applications in verticals such as health, smart and connected cities, environment, natural hazards, energy, materials and advanced manufacturing, and cross-cutting areas such as cyberinfrastructure, privacy, and security. 

The roundtables will typically feature a moderator and 1-4 panelists who will provide short presentations, followed by audience questions and roundtable discussion. To view previous roundtables, visit our YouTube channel or go here for an archival listing of roundtables.

Our next event in the series will be held on
Thursday, April 12 from Noon – 1:15 P.M.

The Future of Work: Intelligent Machines, Automation, and Societal Impacts

To participate live:
Join the day of the event

About the Event:
The nature of work today is undergoing an unprecedented transformation. As the pace of technological innovation continues to accelerate exponentially, the skills required of workers by industry are changing more rapidly than ever. These newly emerging skill requirements are having a parallel disruptive effect on higher education and training programs, which are struggling to adjust to the dynamic needs of both workers and industries.

At the same time, technological innovation also threatens to displace human workers with robots and artificial intelligence on a massive scale, with some studies predicting hundreds of millions of lost jobs world-wide. Such levels of unemployment can create cascading effects – such as exacerbated inequality, increased poverty, and stunted development – that contribute to social instability on a global scale.

Yet technology is also likely the key to mitigating these issues surrounding the future of work. Breakthroughs in big data and machine learning are creating new opportunities to rapidly match the needs of employers with the abilities of workers; human-machine interfaces promise to revolutionize how work and workers are defined; and intelligent machines may lead to drastic improvements in human quality of life. In this session, our panelists will explore some of these important questions related to the future of work, training, education, and technology.

About the Panelists:

UnknownKevin Crowston
, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor of Information Science in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University and is currently serving as Associate Dean for Research. His research examines new ways of organizing made possible by the extensive use of information and communications technology. Specific research topics include science data management and work practices and technology support for citizen science research projects.


Gordon Freedman is president of the National Laboratory for Education Transformation, a non-profit committed to transforming 20th century education into 21st century learning. Throughout his career, he helped evolve the fields of education technology and online learning and is now an advocate for broad-based change across the K-to-Career spectrum. Freedman also manages Knowledge Base, LLC, a consulting firm and has an extensive background in film and television.

Unknown-2Ioana Marinescu, PhD, is a faculty research fellow at the national Bureau of Economic Research. As an economist, she studies the labor market to craft policies that can enhance employment, productivity, and economic security. Her research expertise includes online job search, workforce development, unemployment insurance, the universal basic income, and employment contracts.


Unknown-4Shade Shutters, PhD, is a research scientist with the Global Security Initiative at Arizona State University. He holds appointments at the Global Institute of Sustainability, the Center for policy Informatics, and the Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity. His research, funded primarily by the NSF and the Department of Defense, uses big data to understand the complex dynamics of urban systems and labor markets.


About the Moderator: 


Molly Kinder is a Senior Advisor on the future of work at New America. She is also a fellow at Georgetown University’s Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation and adjunct faculty at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy, where she is teaching a graduate seminar on the social, economic, and policy implications of AI. She is also leading human-centered research on workers’ perspectives on automation and their motivations and constraints to skills and opportunity.