Big Data and the Coming Golden AgeWe are entering an age where more data will be collected every minute than has been collected in the whole of human history. As of May 2012 Facebook had 901 million users, with Twitter reporting in June 400 million tweets per day. Today we are connecting people digitally, and we are also beginning to connect the data their lives generate as well.
The universe is full of non-obvious causal relationships invisible to both the eye and intuition. For example, why do Academy Award winners live longer than the other nominees? Who do first basemen outlive other players on the team? Why do children in schools with fluorescent lighting get fewer cavities than those in incandescent-lit schools?
This talk examines the promise of sophisticated computational answer engines that will soon be able to aggregate the social data of our lives to bring about unprecedented self-discovery; to find and create great new products and services, to cure diseases, end poverty, and effectively usher in a new golden age for humanity.
Byron explains how Moore's Law, big data, and cheap sensors will bring about this great new future, sooner than many think. Now, why does this matter today? Because it is actionable today. We start by looking at a myriad of data in behavioral targeting, from location-based social networks, to social news, to multi-media sharing, to social networking, and online advocacy and fundraising. Then we roll in data sources such as real-time weather and concepts trending across such social entities like Twitter, Digg, Facebook etc. In other words, think of all accessible data sources that can be used to learn about ourselves.
Byron explains that this ability -- to aggregate this social data and process these non-obvious causal relationships -- will have a transformative effect on humanity and will usher in a new golden age in which everyone on the planet will become effectively wiser than any person has ever been before. Positive and negative social implications and privacy concerns are also examined, while attendees are inspired to examine what they can do to better understand the world through the myriad of untapped data sources that surround them.