Find out who is the most influential person for you
How much does the metadata gathered in your inbox reveal about you? Quite a lot, judging by what researchers at the MIT Media Lab have managed to accomplish with Immersion. They’ve built a web app that, once you grant it permission to do so, digs through your email history to piece together a “people-centric view of your email life.”
This year came the revelation that the National Security Agency has been collecting metadata about millions of Americans’ phone calls. Suddenly metadata exploded as a public issue. But what is metadata? Overall are data from other data.
For César Hidalgo, this national conversation about metadata couldn’t come too soon. A professor of media arts and sciences at the MIT Media Lab, Hidalgo has been obsessed with communications metadata for years. To him, metadata isn’t merely a technical issue, or a political one, but an emotional one, a cloud of knowledge about your behavior that, once you confront it, can literally change your life.
“Immersion,” asks users for their Gmail address and password; it then scans every e-mail in their accounts and scrapes the metadata to create a portrait of their personal network.
Now, you want to know who is the person who most influenced your life according to “immersion”?