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Our Evolving Relationship With Data — The Closing Keynote

Daniel Rasmus

Daniel Rasmus

Our Evnolving Relationship With Data

In his closing keynote address, Daniel Rasmus, Founder and Principal Analyst, Serious Insights and Chief Knowledge Officer, Virtual World Society, reviewed some of the many impacts that data has on our lives. He started by noting that our brains have the capability of holding information, and everything that is information only exists as such for a small period of time–when the universe is acting upon it.  If it is not being acted upon, then it is data.

How we think about the future is dangerous. Most of the time, we are wrong because the future is highly variable; real-time data is at least milliseconds old. We are looking at the current world with all our biases in place, and often the future does not unfold like we think it will. From the time you are born, data is being collected about you.

Much of the information that we are publishing now is on the internet, and the flow is not stopping. Scenario planning forces us to look at the factors in the world outside of us. There future is what is possible; we must be open to all the possibilities. Uncertainties include the place of innovation, global workforce and economics, nature of learning, and our relationship with data. Technology has changed the way we think about the world. For example, we can now look at actual molecules and find out that they do indeed look like our models of them. Here are some information biases and perceptions of reality that occurred in the past.

Information Biases

Just seeing is not knowing; The Book of All Knowledge, published in 1850, is mostly all wrong now. As soon as a new element is discovered, all chemistry books in classrooms are immediately wrong.

Everything we look at is represented as data, and we must store it somewhere. Storage capacities have increased over the years, as shown here.

Memory Evolution

Memory continues to evolve, and there is a massive amount of new technology that is communicating with itself: AI, Big Data, the Internet of Things, etc. To  access all this data, we need speed: to download a whole DVD used to take over 8 days; now with a fast Ethernet connection, it takes 7 minutes, which has made downloading more widespread; for example, The Pirate Bay is a place to download movies that is completely illegal.

Data is literally in everything–watches, phones, houses, Bluetooth lights, etc. Everything is generating data through sensors, and we must make sense of all this data. Pervasive computing is setting expectations. We are in the process of becoming the center of our data universe. Eventually, everything will get self-organized.

Augmented reality and virtual reality are connected by data.

AR and VR Connected By Data

We are creating maps of everything, and everything is data. People are worrying about privacy and how ads are pushed to them. In the ecosystem of measurement, we will no longer have to think about data in silos because all information is available to be correlated.

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