Tech Roundup: The Data Driven Future


May 30, 2017 2:33 pm by Jacob McAllister



The Commodification of Data, The Fine Line Between a Tech and News Company, The Impact of WannaCry

big dataThe future is now for AI and big data, and changes are occurring more rapidly than our ability to adjust. These are strange times we are living in indeed. Here are some of the biggest stories this week in the world of technology:

  • Is big data replacing big oil as the engine that will drive our economy in the 21st Century? That is exactly what the Economist is asserting in this fascinating look into the future of data science and all of the potential ramifications. From The Economist:

    Data are to this century what oil was to the last one: a driver of growth and change. Flows of data have created new infrastructure, new businesses, new monopolies, new politics and—crucially—new economics. Digital information is unlike any previous resource; it is extracted, refined, valued, bought and sold in different ways. It changes the rules for markets and it demands new approaches from regulators. Many a battle will be fought over who should own, and benefit from, data.

    The full article can be found below:

    Fuel of the future: Data is giving rise to a new economy | The Economist

    AN OIL refinery is an industrial cathedral, a place of power, drama and dark recesses: ornate cracking towers its gothic pinnacles, flaring gas its stained glass, the stench of hydrocarbons its heady incense. Data centres, in contrast, offer a less obvious spectacle: windowless grey buildings that boast no height or ornament, they seem to stretch to infinity.

  • The Facebook platform finds itself at a crossroads. Are they a tech company or a media company? They have straddled this line for years, and new leaked internal documents show that they are not sure how to proceed in the new media landscape. They find themselves in the position of no longer being able to dodge this question.
     
  • The influence of Artificial Intelligence is ever-increasing in scope, and advancing more rapidly than anyone could have imagined, writes Timothy B. Lee for Vox. This will fundamentally change the way we live, as more and more devices will become connected, generating massive amounts of data that paints a picture of who we are as people.

    Not so fast, says The Economist. Could Moore’s Law, the principle that processing power doubles every 18 months, be hitting its limit? From the Economist:

    This unipolar world is starting to crumble. Processors are no longer improving quickly enough to be able to handle, for instance, machine learning and other AI applications, which require huge amounts of data and hence consume more number-crunching power than entire data centres did just a few years ago.

  • A couple of weeks removed from the massive WannaCry cyber attack, Dave Lewis of Forbes takes stock of the damage and assesses the global community’s readiness to withstand further attacks. His appraisal of the likelihood of further attacks is grim.
  • In a horrifying example of the unintended consequences of the democratization of technology, ISIS now is now using drones in battle, and of more strategic importance, for surveillance. The ubiquity of these devices is causing problems for U.S. forces, and the civilian populations in areas they control.

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