Knowledge is growing so fast that ninety percent of what we will know in fifty years' time, will be discovered in those fifty years.
A full 90% of all the data in the world has been generated over the last two years. The internet companies are awash with data that can be grouped and utilized. Is this a good thing?
An increasing amount of data is becoming available on the internet. Each one of us is constantly producing and releasing data about ourselves. We do this either by moving around passively -- our behavior being registered by cameras or card usage -- or by logging onto our PCs and surfing the net.
The volumes of data make up what has been designated 'Big Data' -- where data about individuals, groups, and periods of time are combined into bigger groups or longer periods.
Petter Bae Brandtzæg of SINTEF ICT points to the huge research centers now developed at internet companies such as Facebook and Google.
Data protection is a problem we often associate with Big Data, but according to Brandtzæg, data from Wisdom is restricted to large groups and does not go down to 'individual level'. This makes it possible for him to compare large groups without any data protection problems.
Big Data makes it possible to achieve research results that cover a wide range of issues and can tell us a great deal about developments in the world in many different areas. It is possible to carry out thorough analyses and comparisons between countries and different genders.
For example, researchers in Facebook's own research department have looked into how people across the world update their messages, and what kind of information they post about themselves and their lives.
'The surveys show that the messages people have been posting have been getting shorter each year,' says Brandtzæg. 'This reflects the increase in other types of fast social communication, such as Twitter, which has achieved huge popularity because it is about expressing oneself briefly and concisely in a maximum of 140 characters. Another trend in that direction is that young people are telling their stories using images rather than text. The current Instagram craze could be because you don't have to write anything.