The VICE Channels

    Big Data Explained Brilliantly in One Short Video

    Written by

    Derek Mead


    Big Data has become a Big Buzzword these days, but are you still not sure what exactly it means? That's totally cool, because a lot of people are still unsure what Big Data is all about—aside from quantifying and recording all of your behavior online, of course. But as this great video from THNKR explains, Big Data is more than just Google—sorry dudes, you're too easy to pick on—learning everything it can about you in order to hone your user experience and serve you better ads.

    As photographer Rick Smolan tells it, Big Data is now like the internet was in 1993: People are just learning what it's about, and people are just figuring out what it is. But then you hear Google CEO Eric Schmidt say things like "There was 5 exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every 2 days, and the pace is increasing...People aren't ready for the technology revolution that's going to happen to them." Then you realize that, like the early Web, we're not sure where Big Data is headed yet.

    Rest assured that Big Data does mean that just about everything that can be quantified and tracked will be. Sensors, monitors, and the history of anything and everything from your aging knees to the entire energy grid will be recorded, stored, and available to be crunched by ever-increasingly complex algorithms. Does that mean we're promised a future of hyper-efficiency? Maybe. What we're guaranteed, however, is a future where the noise is so fast that none of us will be able to cut through it on our own.