Big data is terrific

Big data has proven its growing, indispensable impact, which is providing a reasonable ending to nearly everything shaped during the industrial revolution. Analytics and methodologies are continuously providing better understandings of data, enabling this constantly produced raw material to be manufactured into valuable finished products.

These quickly emerging innovations are evaluated in: ‘Big Data: A Revolution that will Transform how We Live, Work and Think’. In this book, Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier analyse outcomes of big data, showcasing that these are as ambiguous as the word ‘terrific‘. But although this expansion of the technological revolution clearly offers both advantages and disadvantages, many of us seem to have a more pessimistic view on this upcoming digital future.

‘Living in an Unreal World’ by Adam Curtis – a documentary about the control of platforms such as Google and Facebook – argues the thin line where valuable analysis turns into a invasion of privacy. While ‘Gattaca’ – a film about the dangers of artificial intelligence – discusses another thin line; technology’s capability to improve humanity while losing our sense of being humane. Together they exhibit widely shared, negative beliefs on a future where we consider to lose privacy, control and humanity. So do these scenario’s truly grant a reasonable perspective on future society?

“Every time we find something new, we are confronted with decisions we never had to face before”. – “At this moment we probably only know 2 percent” – Riccardo Sabatini.

I personally believe that these quotes perfectly exhibit our incapability to successfully evaluate how upcoming alterations will influence our lives. Yet, factors such as natural human anxiety towards foreign changes seem to logically result in an overwhelming amount of negative responses. In order to contrast this state of mind, I chose to end this article with a talk that recently made my view on big data more positive. In this talk, Riccardo Sabatini exposes improvements in usage of data as a way to understand genomes, thus permitting enhanced healthcare. Therefore, we can only hope that these utopian inventions illustrate how data will upgrade our prospective society.

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