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Rick Smolan: Can Big Data Change Who You Are?

  • Uploaded by thinkbig on Jan 29, 2013
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We have generated a huge amount of information, which is very cheap to collect. But we are now able to see patterns and develop a new understanding of data. This gives us the potential to change our behavior. Rick Smolan's latest book is "The Human Face of Big Data" Last year at the World Economic Forum there were a number of people talking about the fact that they see big data as a new asset class. I think Zack Bogue, who is Marissa Mayer's husband, was telling us about this also. When we were doing research, he and Marissa were both incredibly helpful to us in kind of conceptualizing the whole project. There's a story in the book about a gentleman who has a pacemaker; it's a wireless pacemaker, so throughout his day the data from his heart is transmitted to his doctor, and he actually spent time looking at his exercise, his nutrition, his alcohol consumption, and he wanted to find out whether there is some correlation between his other activities and when his pacemaker kicked in. So he called the manufacture saying, "Could I get a copy of the last six months of my heart data?" and they said, "Sorry, sir, this is proprietary." He said, "Wait a second. This is my heart. You have been collecting information about my heart; I want a copy of the information." They have refused to give it to him. What I love about the story is it kind of makes you think, well, wait a second, why is it that my browser history is being sold to the highest advertiser, there's credit card ...

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