Over the last 15 years, the emergence of Big Data has been perhaps the single largest change in how business is done. It’s important for everyone to understand what it is and how it’s changing the world.
Early on, companies struggled to create the basic infrastructure that was needed to make Big Data a reality.
Now, the infrastructure is being put into place, the data is being collected and rapid changes to how society functions are on the way.
Here are 7 TED talks on big data that are required watching for anyone interested in how big data will have a vast impact o the future direction of technology and society.
1) Susan Etlinger: “What Do We Do With All This Big Data?”
The question of what exactly to do with data is a problem that has stood out for more than a decade now. Data are arriving at a greater velocity, and from a greater number of sources, than ever before. However, truly ‘operationalizing’ it at the corporate or individual level is still a challenging process. Even highly informed decision-makers can misunderstand data and apply their biases to it. Susan Etlinger, a leading data analyst with Altimeter Group, urges a reassessment of how we truly make meaning from data sets.
2) Kenneth Cukier: “Bigger Data is Better Data”
Now that the Big Data transformation is truly underway, data will always be growing — never shrinking. This places enormous responsibility upon data analysts, of course, but also opens the door to technological advances that were unthinkable as little as a decade ago. Beginning with the example of self-driving cars, Kenneth Cukier — Data Editor of the venerable Economist — connects the dots to understand how Big Data will drive continued technological change. The intersection between Big Data and machine learning may produce unexpected benefits.
3) David McCandless: “The Beauty of Data Visualization”
For data to be of value to ordinary individuals, it must be visualized in some form. When data are visualized effectively, it becomes easier to process and act on. Even the most complex data — such as that involving military spending — can be transmuted into a new format. This allows people to make more intuitive and effective decisions. But, as data journalist David McCandless shows, the benefits do not end there. By using the power of visualization, data can indeed become beautiful.
4) Jennifer Golbeck: “The Curly Fry Conundrum”
Billions of people all over the world spend time engaging in social media every day. During this time, they might do all kinds of things online they don’t think twice about. It can be likened to mindlessly eating curly fries. Through the power of Big Data however, businesses derive a tremendous amount of information from even the most innocuous online behavior. In this talk, computer scientist Jennifer Golbeck draws back the curtain to demonstrate the power of these data points.
5) Deb Roy: “The Birth of a Word”
Deb Roy is an MIT researcher who focuses on cognitive science, particularly big questions on how children learn languages. To bring his understanding to the next level— and develop new insights that might aid in language learning for machines — he recorded 90,000 hours of footage chronicling every aspect of his infant son’s life. This talk is the result of searching that footage, more than 3,750 days’ worth, and synthesizing his findings into less than 20 minutes.
6) Glenn Greenwald: “Why Privacy Matters”
In the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations on the scope of U.S. government surveillance, former Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald became one of the most controversial figures in the mainstream media. This TED talk comes from Greenwald’s years of tireless work analyzing, commenting on and publicizing those revelations. In it, he advocates for the idea that privacy matters to everyone, even if you are not doing anything wrong.
7) Mallory Soldner: “Your Company’s Data Could Help World Hunger”
Business often focuses on the ways Big Data can be monetized. Cutting costs or improving sales are the end goals for the vast majority of commercial forays into Big Data. However, that data is so foundational to the people and experiences it describes, that it could be used for much greater purposes. Self-described ‘data activist’ Mallory Soldner puts this into perspective. Her talk shows how data collected by corporations can be applied to make powerful, lasting changes to long-standing humanitarian issues — often much more quickly than anyone would expect.
Data science is not about data alone, but about how we conceptualize data to make it an effective decision-making tool. Even experienced, educated data scientists must be careful not to take logical ‘shortcuts’ —actions that can make data seem intuitive while obscuring deeper and more significant meanings. This may become the central challenge of data science in coming years.
Inspired by hairy, semiaquatic mammals such as beavers and sea otters, a group of MIT engineers are fabricating fur-like rubbery pelts learn how these mammals stay warm and even dry while diving underwater.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is an independent, coeducational, privately endowed university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Our mission is to advance knowledge; to educate students in science, engineering, and technology; and to tackle the most pressing problems facing the world today. We are a community of hands-on problem-solvers in love with fundamental science and eager to make the world a better place.
The MIT YouTube channel features videos about all types of MIT research, including the robot cheetah, LIGO, gravitational waves, mathematics, and bombardier beetles, as well as videos on origami, time capsules, and other aspects of life and culture on the MIT campus. Our goal is to open the doors of MIT and bring the Institute to the world through video.
As machines become increasingly autonomous by which I mean they can sense their environment and they can make decisions about what to do or what not to do. Of course it’s based on the programming and their experience. But we don’t have as direct control over what they do as we do today with the kinds of technology that we have.
Author and entrepreneur Jerry Kaplan offers an interesting crash course on computational ethics, the idea that robots and machines will require programming to make them cognizant of morals, decorum, manners, and various other social nuances. Jerry Kaplan’s latest book is “Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence”
Elon Musk’s grand vision of a Hyperloop system that can transport people and cargo through high-speed vacuum tubes is coming to life in the United Arab Emirates.
The near-supersonic railway would connect the Emirati capital of Abu Dhabi with Dubai, the area’s most populous city, in only 12 short minutes. This journey normally requires about two hours of travel by car or train.
Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One and Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority announced their new partnership Tuesday atop Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.
“We are here today to sign a historic agreement with our partners from (the Dubai) Road and Transport Authority … and we begin to evaluate the delivery of the world’s first hyperloop system across the country,” Hyperloop One CEO, Rob Lloyd, told reporters.
The Roads and Transport Authority and Hyperloop One have agreed to develop a prototype of the hyperloop and the feasibility of building a hyperloop system that can link the two cities.
Hyperloop One’s vision consists of combining autonomous vehicles with Hyperloop technology, according to a company press release:
“Individuals can commute for limited distances within the city in small self-driving vehicles. These vehicles can then board the Hyperloop train to travel for longer distances—including between cities—with speeds that can reach 1,200 kilometers per hour, exceeding aircraft speed. Hyperloop stations will be spread all around the city, providing easy and convenient access. This would effectively reduce travel time between Dubai and Abu Dhabi to less than 12 minutes, and between Dubai and Riyadh to less than 48 minutes.
“The new technology is set to have positive implications on urban planning; it will economize parking spaces as it changes the way individuals commute within the city, as well as to and from logistical centers such as airports and ports—not to mention the impact it will have on shipping.”
The deal is also meant to help city-state move forward with the “Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy,” which aims to render 25 percent of all transportations in the emirate driverless by 2030.
How the Hyperloop One’s system compares to other transport options. Hyperloop One
Although Tesla CEO Musk came up with the futuristic transport idea back in 2013, he is not affiliated with any hyperloop companies. He has, however, encouraged other private companies to turn his vision into reality. Besides Hyperloop One, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is another firm trying to bring the technology to life.
When asked about the project’s cost, Hyperloop co-founder Josh Giegel told the Associated Pressit would be “somewhere between the cost of putting a road in and a high-speed rail.”
The hyperloop features levitating pods powered by electricity and magnetism that can zip through low-friction pipes at speeds up to 750 mph. Hyperloop One
The Associated Press reported that at Tuesday’s event, Hyperloop officials showed several circular station models for Dubai, including one at Emirates Towers on Dubai’s main artery, Sheikh Zayed Road. Dubai’s Jebel Ali port is also exploring the possibility of using the technology.
Hyperloop One is currently testing the transport system in the Nevada desert.
One of our greatest abilities as humans is to invent and create, so the folks from AsapSCIENCE broke down the 71 most significant innovations of all time, from the invention of the spoken word up to the Hubble Telescope in 1990.
The last one featured in this video is more than 20 years old, so we’re sure there’s a few that came up since that time that should be added, such as the carbon nanotube.