The huge amounts of data (this event is part of our technology series) we produce are transforming the world and our daily lives fundamentally. Kenneth Cukier, data-editor at The Economist and co-author of the successful book Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think, compares the impact of big data with that of the printing press and the Gutenberg Bible.
All the patterns, algorithms, and correlations surrounding us can improve our lives in innumerable ways, but there is also a dark side: will it be machines, rather than people, that make decisions? What will happen to our privacy? Cukier warns against falling prey to the ‘dictatorship of data’. Ultimately the progress we as a society make will be determined not by the numbers, but by the uniquely human qualities of instinct, intuition, and risk evaluation.
Cukier was previously the technology editor of The Wall Street Journal Asia and wrote for The International Herald Tribune. His newest book, together with Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, appeared in Dutch by Maven Publishing as De big data-revolutie.