Data in Context with Dr Audrey Lobo-Pulo (#37)

We talk about context and resilience, and how we approach living systems.

Share:
Data in Context with Dr Audrey Lobo-Pulo (#37) cover image

Dr Audrey Lobo-Pulo currently works at LinkedIn and holds a PhD in Physics and a Masters in Economic Policy. She is also accredited by the International Bateson Institute to host and conduct Warm data labs.

A member of the World Economic Forum Expert Network for the Future of Digital Economy and Society, Civic Participation and the Future of Government, Audrey is passionate about how technology may be designed for better government and societal outcomes.

Previously a Senior Policy Advisor for the Australian Treasury, Audrey has worked for over a decade in areas relating to Australia’s labour market, taxation and social policy.

A long-standing advocate of Open Source Models in Government, Audrey is deeply interested in how information evolves and flows within society. She is also a Cybernetics enthusiast and a student of human sense-making.

In our conversation, we talk about context and resilience, and how we approach living systems.

Watch on YouTube

Listen to the Podcast

Listen on Vurbl, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Breaker, Castbox, Deezer, Goodpods, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, TuneIn, Blubrry, Digital Podcast, Gaana, Podcast Addict, Podchaser, Podhero, PlayerFM, JioSaavn, RSS, and other podcast platforms.

VurblApple PodcastsSpotifyiHeartRadio

Show Notes

[00:01:08] Audrey’s journey beginning with physics.
[00:01:30] A desire to become closer to nature.
[00:02:10] Seeing gender disparity.
[00:03:21] Limited by the job opportunities available in theoretical physics.
[00:04:03] Applying her skills in mathematical modelling to policy.
[00:04:52] Applying human behaviour to statistical modelling
[00:06:21] “the map is not the territory” - Alfred Korzybski
[00:06:56] COVID modelling.
[00:07:54] Context!
[00:08:32] What does the data actually mean?
[00:09:17] Objectivity and subjectivity in data.
[00:10:36] Data that is ‘alive’.
[00:11:58] The ecosystem around the data.
[00:13:02] Observations and ethics around how we anchor data.
[00:16:33] Thinking about how we recontextualise data.
[00:17:24] Anecdote: Anchoring data around homelessness
[00:19:19] Project Management: The Tyre Swing Problem
[00:21:11] Human-in-the-loop or HITL
[00:21:22] The human should be part of the whole process
[00:22:18] Natural living systems
[00:23:07] The relationship between “warm data” and “cold data”
[00:24:15] Humans contextualise data in ways that cannot be measured
[00:24:58] Acknowledging the subjective data
[00:26:24] Drawing a line for what is relevant
[00:27:12] How viable is the dataset for solving the problem?
[00:28:00] Impact of seemingly unrelated contexts on each other - consider the pandemic and the open source movement
[00:29:53] The potential for our current problems to be solved through considering other contexts
[00:30:54] Developing technology with a more wholistic view of the ecosystem in mind
[00:33:39] Vulnerable first and inclusive systems design for more robust and resilient solutions
[00:37:01] Designing systems is very contextual - when is a model appropriate to use?
[00:39:20] Humans are complex
[00:40:14] Oversimplification of concepts hinders sense-making
[00:43:37] Civic engagement and rethinking the idea of consensus
[00:48:14] Making space for sense-making and deliberation
[00:50:07] Emotional and subjective data is just as valid and valuable as objective data
[00:51:26] The more data we have available the more we need to consider the context
[00:54:34] Self-awareness and factoring in both bias and collective knowledge
[00:57:43] The need for perspective to better understand what you’re trying to solve
[01:00:43] A wish to see a co-evolution of technology with nature taking into account all the interdependencies
[01:01:55] The richness of our living systems
[01:04:07] How warm data labs provide perspectives
[01:05:43] AI for facial recognition and emotion detection
[01:07:02] Warm data adds additional dimensions of context beyond the purely objective
[01:09:40] Context for compassionate tech and compassion in tech
[01:13:44] Bonus Question 1: What hobby or interest do you have that is most unrelated to your field of work?
[01:13:48] Cybernetics and living systems
[01:15:46] Bias in psychometric testing
[01:18:08] Once again in the liminal space between machine and nature
[01:19:51] Bonus Question 2: Which childhood book holds the strongest memories for you?
[01:23:27] Bonus Question 3: What advice you would give someone who wants to do what you do? Or what advice should they ignore?
[01:26:47] Finding out more about Audrey’s work
[01:28:55] The philosophy of data
[01:29:50] Mutable memories as data

Highlights

Topics/Resources/People Mentioned

Books

  • Gregory Bateson BookDepository GoodReads
  • Mind and Nature by Gregory Bateson BookDepository GoodReads
  • Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World by Kevin Kelly BookDepository GoodReads
  • The Ego Trick: In Search Of The Self by Julian Baggini BookDepository GoodReads

Additional Resources

Find out more about Dr Audrey Lobo-Pulo and their work

Connect with Us

Support STEAM Powered

Review Us

Please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, GoodPods, Podchaser, or your preferred podcatcher.

Become a Patron

Become a patron
Ko-Fi button iconSupport me on Ko-fi

Affiliate Programs

Buy your books from BookDepository. There are over 20 million titles and you get free delivery worldwide to over 150 countries on every order. Want some ideas? Check out the list of every book mentioned in our conversations, or authored by our guests.

Start your own podcast or YouTube channel, or run panels and seminars with Riverside.fm. Record up to 8 people in a session with up to 1000 audience members. You can record in advance as I do, or you can livestream with the option to send it straight to Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, or Twitch. There's even a green-room for guests and live call in for audience members. Afterwards, get separate video (up to 4K) and audio (up to 48kHz) tracks per recorded participant for editing, none of that “active speaker only” limitation. You know you're in good hands with a service whose client-base includes some heavy-hitters. Check out Riverside.fm to see who else is on board. Use promo code STEAM25 to get 25% off the first three months of your subscription.

Listen to the Best of STEAM Powered Voices on Vurbl

My curated playlist as Ambassador for Science on Vurbl for fascinating and insightful content from the extended STEAM community.