Let’s talk about the benefits and risks of the big data movement.
In a recent Forbes article, Bernard Marr tells us that big data can help us “cure disease and prevent cancer”, “feed the hungry”, “explore distant planets”, “predict and respond to natural and man-made disasters”, “prevent crime”, and also “make our everyday lives easier and more convenient.”
To do all of the above (which, let’s face it, essentially means predicting the future), data must be collected from huge numbers of of users – typically through use of artificial intelligence and machine learning – which poses a threat to our data privacy and security.
Today, “we generate data whenever we go online, when we carry our GPS-equipped smartphones, when we communicate with our friends through social media or chat applications, and when we shop.”
It’s become increasingly clear that big data is much more than a “fad”, and will continue to evolve in the future. Are the benefits worth the risk?