By Esther Dyson
After more than 50 years, the Computer Age as we’ve known it is ending. And what will replace it—perhaps we’ll call it the Informatics Age—will be a kind of Copernican Revolution in knowledge.
That is, humans will no longer be the center of the data solar system, with all of the billions of devices orbiting around us, but will rather become just another player, another node, in an increasingly autonomous data universe.
Yet there’s more to come … that is, more to be done. Today’s Big Data tools, stunning as they are, are only the beginning. We have learned over the last century just how difficult it is to model the natural world. We make models using only the data we have collected; what are we missing?
Just as the ancients missed microbes, so did we miss solar flares until more recently. Once we included them, we got a little bit better at weather prediction.
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Essay from the book: Human Face of Big Data
Esther Dyson is a former journalist and Wall Street technology analyst who is a leading angel investor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and commentator focused on breakthrough innovation in healthcare, government transparency, digital technology, biotechnology, and space.