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Why Big Data Is Such A Big Deal

In a recent TED Talk, Kenneth Cukier looks at what's next for machine learning and human knowledge.

Kenneth Cukier believes that most people are “probably sick of hearing the term big data.” He notes: “it is true there is a lot of hype around the tool, and that is very unfortunate because big data is an extremely important tool by which human knowledge is going to advance.” In his recent TED talk, posted below, Cukier asks and answers the question: “why big data is such a big deal.”

Given the rise of better computers, and technology like wearables (think Apple Watch), “now we have a lot more data than ever before.” As for what it can achieve, and why there is so much hype, Cukier believes “the only way this planet is going to deal with its global issues – to feed people, supply them with medical care, electrical energy, global warming – is the effective use of big data.”

Perhaps in contrast to some opinions on this very site, Cukier states that “privacy was the central challenge of the small data era. In the big data age, the challenge will be safeguarding free will, moral choice, human volition and human agency.

Watch the video above and, as always, let us know what you think in the comments below!

Many thanks to Kenneth Cukier and to our friends over at TED. To stay up to date with the latest Markets For Good articles and news, sign up to their newsletter here. Make sure that you are also following then on Twitter @Marketsforgood.

The preceding is a cross post of Markets for Good's September 25th blog post.

Topics: Big Data