Oscar Health CEO Mario Schlosser issued a dire warning to college graduates about the future of big data, and it's really dark. Oscar offers low or no cost health insurance to low and middle income New Yorkers.
Schlosser's comments were but one of many from influential New Yorkers to new graduates, who offered life and career advice in a piece published in Thursday's New York Times. As society discusses how and for what purpose our personal data can and should be used, Schlosser's words offer a stark reminder of the power our data has and how future technologies may exploit it.
"Track every hour of your day what you're doing and who you are doing it with. That will form your own personal longitudinal big data record. In 20 years from now, that will also make it easier to train your identical machine intelligence to replace yourself. I've built my own record for the past six years and wish I'd have started earlier."
time to read some completely normal advice to new graduates from the people who should definitely run the world… https://t.co/77sMUYb3Pe— Amanda Hess (@Amanda Hess) 1525968442.0
Schlosser wasn't the only influential New Yorker to offer some sobering life advice, however. Megan Twohey, a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporters for the Times, advised graduates that being challenged at work is of utmost importance, and that nervousness and a reasonable amount of stress is a sign that you're on the right path.
"If you're not scared of your job, get a new job. Those butterflies in your stomach are a sign that you're on the right path, that you're taking on challenges that will force you to grow. But keep in mind the limits of professional success. The job will never deliver the emotional nourishment that comes from friends and family."
Holding power to account was another sound piece of sagely wisdom, courtesy of another Times Pulitzer winner, Jodi Kantor. She suggests becoming a journalist, because an informed public is the key to a successful democracy. I agree!
"Become a journalist. Hold the powerful to account. Meet sources (like the brave women who came forward about Weinstein) who will inspire and teach you. Narrate the sweep of history and the most intimate moments of strangers' lives. Protect others — and your country — with facts, rigor, and empathy."
Speaking of serving the public, New York City public advocate Letitia James reminded grads that no one is ever too young to make a difference.
"Young people have always been at the forefront of change in this country, so do not ever let anyone tell you that you are too young or too inexperienced to fight for what you believe in and to fight for justice and progress for all."
Twitter had some interesting reactions to Amanda's tweet and Schlosser's ominous warning.
@amandahess i'm crying. this is definitely a quote from a villain in a movie— Elena Nicolaou (@Elena Nicolaou) 1525969289.0
@amandahess Here's a photo of me from senior year of high school, thinking about my personal longitudinal big data… https://t.co/D6JdbDpKqV— Elizabeth Spiers (@Elizabeth Spiers) 1525974792.0
@amandahess This seems like the kind of person we want making judgments about other people’s health behavior— avi zenilman (@avi zenilman) 1525968771.0
@amandahess mfw I read this in my inbox this morning between other, completely normal pieces of advice https://t.co/08OUxXeDe0— Alan Henry (@Alan Henry) 1525973831.0
@amandahess It is also useful for training a pod person to replace you more easily. So has multiple applications.— Zachary Elwood (@Zachary Elwood) 1525974842.0
@amandahess Ugh I hand over so much money to that guy.— Lindsay Robertson (@Lindsay Robertson) 1525989644.0