The technology world is looking at ways to make everything more efficient. The question is, will this be good for the many, or the mighty few?
Earlier this month, General Electric announced it was selling GE Capital, its financial arm. With less fanfare, G.E. also unveiled plans for computer-connected L.E.D. streetlights, so cities can collect and analyze performance data, for lower costs and better safety.
GE Capital was a huge profit center after the financial deregulation of the 1980s, but that was then. Sensor-rich lights, to be found eventually in offices and homes, are for a company that will sell knowledge of behavior as much as physical objects.
“The next generation of bulbs have a life cycle of 20 years; we can’t think of that as a transactional business anymore,” said Bill Ruh, the head of G.E.’s software center. “We can put cameras and more sensors on these, and measure motion, heat, air quality.” Retailers might want such lights to steer shoppers, he said, while consumers could better learn about their electricity consumption.
This sensor explosion is only starting: Huawei, a Chinese maker of computing and communications equipment with $47 billion in revenue, estimates that by 2025 over 100 billion things, including smartphones, vehicles, appliances and industrial equipment, will be connected to cloud computing systems.
The Internet will be almost fused with the physical world. The way Google now looks at online clicks to figure out what ad to next put in front of you will become the way companies gain once-hidden insights into the patterns of nature and society.
G.E., Google and others expect that knowing and manipulating these patterns is the heart of a new era of global efficiency, centered on machines that learn and predict what is likely to happen next.
“The core thing Google is doing is machine learning,” Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, said at an industry event on Wednesday. Sensor-rich self-driving cars, connected thermostats or wearable computers, he said, are part of Google’s plan “to do things that are likely to be big in five to 10 years. It just seems like automation and artificial intelligence makes people more productive, and smarter.”
Not only that, but big tech companies have also decided that supplying the means for others to analyze data is going to be a big business, too. Amazon, which last week stunned Wall Street with word that its online sales of computing were a $5 billion annual business vastly more profitable than the rest of the company, has started selling data analysis tools as part of its service.
Microsoft, which over the years invested billions in machine learning, last summer offered a service others can rent on the Microsoft cloud. IBM, rushing to catch up, has put Watson, its “Jeopardy!”-winning computer, in the cloud for others to use.
What we may be seeing here is a repeat of what happened in online search, the original big digital pattern-finding business. Google won that business partly by investing heavily in almost every aspect of computer science, until only Microsoft could afford to keep up.
The great data science companies of our sensor-packed world will have experts in arcane reaches of statistics, computer science, networking, visualization and database systems, among other fields. Graduates in those areas are already in high demand.
Nor is data analysis just a question of computing skills; data access is also critically important. As a general rule, the larger and richer a data set a company has, the better its predictions become.
Read more: The Sensor-Rich, Data-Scooping Future
The Latest on: Data collection
via Google News
The Latest on: Data collection
- Data collection important for research: Chaubeyon November 20, 2019 at 10:38 am
Speaking on the occasion, Professor P K Chaubey of the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), New Delhi said that collection of data is very important aspect of research and selection of ...
- BoE and FCA to revise data collectionon November 20, 2019 at 8:25 am
UK regulators are set to review how they approach data collection, according to the chief data officer at the Bank of England (BoE) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)’s head of central data ...
- U.S. consumers express unease over personal data collectionon November 20, 2019 at 6:57 am
While global businesses have spent the past few years growing their understanding of data privacy—from the scope of personal data collection and dissemination to the legal ramifications resulting from ...
- Google tries to explain its controversial health data collection programon November 20, 2019 at 3:55 am
Personal info is only seen by select people and never used for advertising, it said. Google is belatedly trying to explain its controversial health care data collection program after it was revealed ...
- House bill to fund government also extends Patriot Act data-collection provisions, despite oppositionon November 20, 2019 at 2:27 am
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., offered a strong opposition on his Facebook page early Tuesday morning. He wrote: “Congress will vote to extend warrantless data collection provisions of the #PatriotAct, by ...
- Survey Reveals Significant Distrust Around Data Collectionon November 19, 2019 at 7:55 pm
Most U.S. adults also believe that data collection has more risks than rewards and that companies are not good stewards of the data they collect on people, according to the findings. In the survey of ...
- RELEASE: The Department of Education’s Proposed Changes to Civil Rights Data Collection Place Vulnerable Students at Riskon November 19, 2019 at 7:36 pm
Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Education’s proposed changes to the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) have the potential to mask the gaps in educational quality for which advocates have ...
- New Research Reveals Most Consumers Unaware of Financial Data Collection Practiceson November 19, 2019 at 5:16 pm
Research reveals a continued disconnect in perceived and actual awareness of financial data collection practices and consumer support for more transparency, education, and control NEW YORK, Nov. 19, ...
- Most Americans feel powerless to prevent data collection, online trackingon November 18, 2019 at 4:56 am
Most U.S. adults say that the potential risks they face because of data collection by companies (81%) and the government (66%) outweigh the benefits, but most (>80%) feel that they have little or no ...
- Top antitrust enforcer warns Big Tech over data collectionon November 17, 2019 at 6:39 am
Delrahim said some of the most interesting and alarming legal issues raised by the rise of the digital economy are in the "collection, aggregation and commercial use of consumer data," which he called ...
via Bing News