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HSE Campus in St. PetersburgNewsThe Second International Conference “Digital Transformation & Global Society” (DTGS’17)

The Second International Conference “Digital Transformation & Global Society” (DTGS’17)

The Second International Conference “Digital Transformation & Global Society” (DTGS’17) was held between 21 and 23 June, 2017, to address various issues of information society development. The conference was co-organized by the National Research University Higher School of Economics (St. Petersburg) and the ITMO University.

The conference began with a plenary session. Keynote address on the topic of The Great Empirical Discoveries of the WWW World delivered the co-chair of the conference, professor Daniil A. Alexandrov from the Higher School of Economics. According to professor Alexandrov, information technologies and social media could help to examine society, but only if the research goals, objects and data science methods related to this examination are  specifically selected. The Internet opens new opportunities for social scientists, but it also presents challenges to existing theories and knowledge of society. Particularly intriguing aspects of research undertaken at the Higher School of Economics which Prof. Alexnadrov mentioned in his keynote speech included discoveries on educational mobility and ethnic identity in social media.

            The second keynote of the conference was delivered by Dr. Gianluca Demartini from the University of Sheffield (United Kingdom) and focused on the power of big data. Prof. Demartini exemplified the use of big data algorithms in targeting, decision-making and business processes transformation. He further presented his own project at the University of Sheffield aimed at the integration of unstructured and structured data into entity queries used in web-search optimization by means of hybrid machine learning and crowdsoursing. In addition, Sergey Kovalchuk from the ITMO University spoke about new predictive computational models usage in public health. He highlighted that data-based modeling could be a potential major tool for predicting sickness rates, treatment and rehabilitation, optimization of ambulance and other healthcare organization work-related processes.

The first conference day proceeded with a poster session.  After assessment of the   participants’ votes, Margarita Kuleva and Daria Maglevanaya from the Higher School of Economics were awarded best poster presenters. Their work was devoted to the role fashion bloggers play in mediating the hierarchical fashion market with common customers. 

The last two conference days were organised in panel session format. Six panels were dedicated to the digital transformations of society, government, cities, economy & finance, healthcare and education. The panel moderators were prominent Russian and foreign scholars: among them were the head of the Internet Studies Lab and conference co-organizer Olessia Koltsova, as well as keynote speakers Dr. King-wa Fu from the University of Hong Kong and professor Carlos Gershenson from the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Dr. King-wa Fu’s keynote talk entitled “The Internet-Censorship in China” outlined his own project “Weiboscope” that facilitates the analysis of Internet-censorship in Chinese social media. The tool reveals patterns and technologies of censorship, as well as the government influence on protest mobilization. In addition, Professor Gershenson spoke on the future of urban mobility in large cities. He noted that although high-speed and autonomous vehicles can solve many urban problems, they still require sophisticated legal and technological regulation. However, according to Gershenson, even minor changes, like the regulation of passenger routes on the metro, can substantially improve transport availability and urban environment.

Overall, 40 papers from Russia, UK, USA, Estonia, India, Belgium and Kazakhstan were selected out of the 134 submissions to the conference. The selected works will be published in the Communications in Computer and Information Science series by the Springer – Verlag.