- Big Data and Personalised Brain Training


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Active Memory is a uniquely personalised, scientifically-designed online brain training program developed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in partnership with the University of Melbourne and Florey Institute of Neuroscience. It utilises big data (gameplay data) and a groundbreaking Bayesian statistical algorithm to create personalised training programs for its subscribers. This presentation outlines some of the considerations and challenges of using big data that were overcome in the course of product development.

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  1. 1. CASE STUDYCASE STUDYCASE STUDYCASE STUDY Big Data andBig Data andBig Data andBig Data andBig Data andBig Data andBig Data andBig Data and Personalised BrainPersonalised BrainPersonalised BrainPersonalised Brain TrainingTrainingTrainingTraining
  2. 2. THE CONTEXT • Last 100 years, cognitive psychologists have thought intelligence is fixed • Recent studies have given a more hopeful picture, intelligence is actually dynamic more hopeful picture, intelligence is actually dynamic – you can improve what you’ve got • But most studies have been too small for conclusive results • Enter Active Memory...
  3. 3. WHAT IS ACTIVE MEMORY? • A personalised, scientifically- designed brain training program • Trains attention, memory, brain flexibility and knowledge • ABC partnership with University of Melbourne and Florey Institute of Neuroscience of Melbourne and Florey Institute of Neuroscience – Three-year clinical research study • Ultimate goal: to make practical improvements in the mental abilities people use in everyday life tasks
  4. 4. THE NUTS AND BOLTSTHE NUTS AND BOLTSTHE NUTS AND BOLTSTHE NUTS AND BOLTS • Games engine – toolset for building and serving games • Personalisation via a Bayesian statistical model of progressive mastery – System adapts to you as you playyou play – System gets smarter as more users play • Separated databases – user db and gameplay data • Messaging system – sends data to the external Model, receives, processes, then represents back to players
  5. 5. SOME CHALLENGES IN HANDLING BIG DATA • Storing, processing, securing and retrieving data and results in real time • Interpreting the data • Ironing out data irregularities and noisenoise • Data takes a while to settle in – Before you can start to see patterns – System self-learning, personalisation gets better the more the system is used and the more data generated and processed
  6. 6. BIG DATA AND ETHICS • Australia’s new privacy laws – data must be kept onshore • Academic research scrutinised by ethicsscrutinised by ethics committee • Anonymised big data – generated performance data kept in entirely separate DB from user DB
  7. 7. BIG DATA PARTNERSHIPS AND IP MANAGEMENT • ABC has Games, Software Development, Product Management Expertise • Uni of Melb/Florey have mathemeticians and neuroscientists mathemeticians and neuroscientists • Separated Games System and Data Model connected via messaging interface • Allows parties to develop IP, separately, that interacts to produce the product
  8. 8. BIG DATA AND USER EXPERIENCE • Big Data inherent to Active Memory’s personalised experience • Challenge: collecting, sending, processing and returning a great volume of data in real time = Lag! (30 secs to 1 min)(30 secs to 1 min) • Solution: design system so data collection doesn’t impede user experience – Asynchronous send – Store some processes locally eg “difficulty”
  9. 9. BIG DATA AND GAME DESIGN • What to show users about their progress/performance – that they can comprehend and – we also understand • Data doesn’t necessarily generate• Data doesn’t necessarily generate obvious and meaningful insights • Must bring interpretation and assumptions to it – which then introduces bias • Make sure you have good theories to start with
  10. 10. BIG DATA AND GAME DESIGN • Philosophical gotchas • How to design scoring – what is difficulty really? – Enormous amount of data– Enormous amount of data required to figure this out – Chicken and egg – Live Beta essential
  11. 11. 33 Correct
  12. 12. VISIT ACTIVEMEMORY.COM • Beta site live now – special signup deal • Free 2-week Trial launching Octoberlaunching October • Subscription options • Tablet support Jan 2014, smartphone support mid- 2014
  13. 13. Thanks for listening!Thanks for listening! @mslissa