Data are from the Past

There’s a lot of discussion and also big hope about what is called Big Data and the role of Data Scientists. Will Data Scientists help us to create a better future?

Yes and no. ‘Making predictions about unprecedented futures requires more than data, it requires theory-driven models that envision futures that do not exist in data. Fortunately, digital tools also assist us in envisioning futures that have never been.’

This talk by Martin Hilbert published 13.01.2015 explains why Data are from the past and are not enough.

‘During his 15 years at the United Nations Secretariat, Martin Hilbert assisted governments to take advantage of the digital revolution. When the ‘big data’ age arrived, his research was the first to quantify the historical growth of how much technologically mediated information there actually is in the world.’

‘After joining the faculty of the University of California, Davis, he had more time to think more deeply about the theoretical underpinning and fundamental limitations of the ‘big data’ revolution.’

‘Martin Hilbert holds doctorates in Economics and Social Sciences, and in Communication, and has provided hands-on technical assistance to Presidents, government experts, legislators, diplomats, NGOs, and companies in over 20 countries.
At the University of California, Davis, Martin thinks about the fundamental theories of how digitization affects society.’ More

[Source: youtube]

Living Earth Platform

Statistics are an important source of information. But in a highly connected world it’s just one source among others. The ambitious international scientific program FuturICT will combine multiple data sources in order to provide (open) information at a new and not yet seen level.

Observation is the first step, simulation and exploration follow.

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FuturICT – New Science  and Technology to Manage Our Complex, Connected World

Knowledge Accelerator

‘The FuturICT Knowledge Accelerator wants science to catch up with the speed at which new problems are arising in our changing world as a consequence of globalization, technological, demographic and environmental change. The ultimate goal of the project is to understand and manage complex, global, socially interactive systems. FuturICT will create the scientific methods and ICT platforms needed to address planetary-scale challenges and opportunities in the 21st century and thus contribute to make our societies more adaptive, resilient and sustainable.

FuturICT as a whole will act as a Knowledge Accelerator, turning massive data into knowledge and technological progress. Specifically, FuturICT will build a sophisticated simulation, visualization and participation platform, called the Living Earth Platform. This platform will power Interactive Observatories, to detect and mitigate crises, and Participatory Platforms, to support the decision-making of policy-makers, business people and citizens, and to facilitate a better social, economic and political participation.’ From and

prevent our society from running into a Dark Age of Information. A Background article:

‘FuturICT’s Dirk Helbing wrote an essay entitled Google as God? Opportunities and Risks of the Information Age. The essay “Google as God?” analyzes the Challenges and Opportunities of information society. Everything might happen to us, from a Big Brother Society to a Participatory Market Society. We will have to take the right decisions – but our society is not well prepared for these choices. To prevent our society from running into a Dark Age of Information, a public debate is urgently needed.’