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Big Data: What it is, how it’s used, where it’s headed

Mike Olson

The world-wide explosion in data is driven by three important trends: The increasing digitization of the world, in which people and the environment have been outfitted with sensors that generate digital data; enough inexpensive storage technology to keep vast amounts of information that was previously discarded; and large-scale computing systems that can process all of it.

The advent of “big data” has driven enormous commercial and social benefits. Industries are more efficient, we produce more energy more cleanly and we diagnose and treat diseases better, all because of big data. At the same time, big data creates new and sometimes surprising problems. Our anonymity, and thus our privacy, is eroding. It is easier to target and to manipulate individuals and groups. And large amounts of data are an irresistible target for criminals and adversaries, leading to data breaches that cause real social and economic damage.

In this talk, I’ll provide some history on the advent and trends in big data. I’ll describe some of the exciting, and the troubling, examples of its transformational power. And I’ll highlight ways in which it is likely to evolve in the near future �" and what we, as a society, ought to do about it.

Speaker: Mike Olson, Cloudera, retired

Thursday, 02/13/20


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La Peña Lounge

3105 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705