A brief and vivid explanation of a topic that is increasingly underpinning our lives and looks set to dominate (and maybe dictate) our futures, for better and for worse. An essential read, whether you realise it or not.
Is the Brexit vote successful big data politics or the end of democracy? Why do airlines overbook, and why do banks get it wrong so often? How does big data enable Netflix to forecast a hit, CERN to find the Higgs boson and medics to discover if red wine really is good for you? And how are companies using big data to benefit from smart meters, use advertising that spies on you and develop the gig economy, where workers are managed by the whim of an algorithm?
The volumes of data we now access can give unparalleled abilities to make predictions, respond to customer demand and solve problems. But Big Brother’s shadow hovers over it. Though big data can set us free and enhance our lives, it has the potential to create an underclass and a totalitarian state. With big data ever-present, you can’t afford to ignore it.
Acclaimed science writer Brian Clegg – a habitual early adopter of new technology (and the owner of the second-ever copy of Windows in the UK) – brings big data to life.