Digital Single Market
Digital Economy & Society

Onlife Manifesto: Being human in a hyperconnected era

Online Services Division
Partner Architect
United States of America

Marc Davis invents mobile, social, media, and personal data technologies that connect people, the web, and the world. With a twenty year career of technology research and development spanning the MIT Media Lab, Interval Research, UC Berkeley, Yahoo!, Invention Arts, and Microsoft, he has done pioneering work in context-aware computing, computer vision, mobile media metadata, social media, social search, mobile and social advertising, and personal data technologies and applications. He has transformed his ideas into over 200 patent applications, as well as numerous research prototypes, products, and publications. Marc Davis is a Partner Architect at Microsoft working on the vision and technology strategy for Microsoft’s Online Services Division.

Based on initial prototypes from Marc’s team, the Bing Sidebar connects searchers to the friends and people relevant to their searches and enables them to communicate with these relevant people to help them get things done. Bing Tags enables people to easily tag web pages that are by or about them so that these tagged pages are linked to their personal search result when people search for them on Bing.

Marc is helping shape the global dialogue on what it means to be a person in our digital societies and digital economies and inventing the technologies and informing the intellectual and policy frameworks that will enable a new “person-centered” personal data ecosystem. Providing a historically and philosophically informed view of today’s internet, Marc has articulated we live in an age of “digital feudalism” that needs to be transformed by a “digital enlightenment” brought about by people reclaiming in the online world the human rights, property rights, speech rights, civil society, and democratic governance we achieved in the physical world. Key to this effort is Marc’s work as a founding member of the World Economic Forum Rethinking Personal Data Project and as a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for Data-Driven Development. This year Marc was featured in the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Outlook 2013 report in a dialogue with Robert Madelin moderated by Rod Beckstrom, which articulated the “Thriving in a Hyperconnected World” theme.

Before Microsoft, Marc Davis was Chief Scientist at Invention Arts, where he focused on new approaches to how people can better control, share, and benefit from their personal data. Before Invention Arts, Marc Davis was Chief Scientist and Vice President of Early Stage Products (ESP) for Yahoo! Mobile, where he worked on innovative products and platforms such as oneConnect, the Yahoo! Open Strategy (Y!OS), and the vision demo for the future of Yahoo! shown at CES 2008. Marc Davis was also the Founding Director of Yahoo! Research Berkeley, where he and his teams developed ZoneTag and Zurfer (context-aware mobile photo upload, tagging, and browsing software), and TagMaps (a collective map of human attention created by analyzing millions of geocoded Flickr photos). Marc Davis served as an Assistant Professor at the UC Berkeley School of Information where he co-founded the UC Berkeley Center for New Media and directed Garage Cinema Research, where he led a multi-year Mobile Media Metadata research project that pioneered context-aware mobile media uploading, tagging, and sharing as well as context-aware face recognition.

Marc Davis earned his B.A. in the College of Letters at Wesleyan University, his M.A. in Literary Theory and Philosophy at the University of Konstanz in Germany on a German Academic Exchange Service Fellowship, and his Ph.D. in Media Arts and Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory.

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