Big Data Changes Everything

Big Data Changes Everything


Big data may not sound like anything special, especially considering we’ve had data for as long as we’ve been studying objective phenomenon. Sure, now we have more tools to capture this data, but can that really cause a major change in our society?

Of course. With modern tools of measurement, everything from location, movement, vibration, temperature, humidity, and chemical changes in the air are being tracked at all times. This is not to mention all of the social information being gathered through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

It may be hard to conceptualize how this may make a difference in the way our society works, but look at it this way: How is it that any institution makes decisions on how their facilities will operate? Schools look at test scores to discover in which areas students need the most help. Businesses look at indicators of supply, demand, and customer satisfaction, among many other things, to decide which products they put out on the market and at what price.

What all of this new information gives us is a much larger pool of data, coming in from mobile devices and sensors that are integrated into the internet, which we can use to make informed decisions.

Gathering the data, however, is actually the simplest part. The key now is in being able to practically interpret that data. Through the use of analytical database management systems, however, this big data will likely become extremely useful in a huge range of fields. In everything from business, finance, educations and politics, analytical interpretations of huge amounts of data will lead to more effective decisions and consequently better results.

The advancement of artificial intelligence will likely be utilized in our efforts to translate big data into meaningful information that can be used to take action. Humans can only analyze so much data, and it takes time and money to have them do so. With an automated analytical system, an AI, all of that big data can automatically be translated into information that executive decision makers can use to take action.

Integrating the big data of the American electorate into a campaign and advocacy based organization system creates extremely powerful tools for social movements to organically find and utilize their support. These powerful new tools, based on the abilities of big data, have the potential to change the political landscape.

Not only can Big Data change politics, the powerful analytical tools that will come with it will be able to revolutionize business, economics, finance, education and so, so much more. We are only in the beginning stages of seeing huge amounts of data about the world around us integrated in a meaningful way. Analytical tools such as language recognition, pattern finding, and other AI-inspired technological feats will soon be changing the way we as individuals and organizations understand and act within the word.

These are interesting times, indeed.

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Dear Older Generations, Millennials Are Smarter Than You Think

Don't worry about me not knowing how to sew a button on a shirt because I can learn that from the Internet.

There has always been a large divide between people of older generations versus people that were born after them. Not only is there a different perspective that each generation has, but there is a certain amount of variety in attitude and opinion about certain things. One thing that the older generations always like to butt heads with the younger generations about is the idea that we don't know anything about life.

This idea is one that is often seen in arguments online with a preface saying, "This is what's wrong with this generation!" Usually, that statement either has several exclamation points or is miserably spaced out for some reason. I think we can all agree that sometimes the older generation has some issues with technology. Almost like us younger folk sometimes have some issues with sewing or baking a cake.

There will definitely be many differences between the younger and older generations, but the complaint that so many young people don't know how to do anything anymore because they are so obsessed with their technology is one that really makes me angry. Sure, we may not have been raised in the mindset of us having to continually do things on our own and we were raised in an environment that is a lot more cushy than our predecessors.

However, one huge difference is the fact that a lot of us were given technology to entertain ourselves with while our parents did all the work. They didn't want us to be messing around in the kitchen while they were cooking dinner. They didn't want us to be in their way while they were fixing the car or cleaning the garage. They didn't want us to wash the dishes wrong, because then they would have to take the time that they were home relaxing to do more work. They didn't have time to teach us to do anything because they were so busy, so we, as children and young adults, were more than happy to just sit in front of the TV and stare at our phone aimlessly.

Though, I will say, I am not just wasting time every single moment I am on my phone. Most of the time, I am actually doing something important, whether it be contacting someone because of my jobs, setting up plans with people, or just having a nice conversation. Also, one other thing that is great about phones is that it has access to the Internet, which is the world's repository of information. We always have that at our fingertips, which is not just used for mindless scrolling through social media, but actually using it to learn stuff.

I, for one, know a lot of my friends watch short recipe videos on Facebook. I watch them and then save them, so that I can look at them later when I want to cook (which I will admit is still a rarity). Now I can go back and know exactly how to use that one recipe, and I dont have to remember it right off the top of my head. I can simply look through my saved videos, find it, and then use it in the moment.

I hear all the time from the older generation that the younger generation doesn't know how to do anything, and we rely on technology too much. I don't know why relying on technology is bad when it comes to using it as a source of information. I may not know how to sew right now, but I can look up an article or two on "WikiHow" to read about it and eventually learn how to do it. Whenever you don't know something, that is always at your fingertips and you can always have it there for you. You don't just need to remember a bunch of recipes for that dinner party you have next Tuesday. You can look up on Google what recipes would be suitable for a swanky dinner party and bam, you are set.

There are so many pros to using the Internet as a source of information and learning, but a lot of the older generation just see any person that looks like they were born in the 90s or later as an idiot who stares at a phone all day. I think that is a really ignorant idea that doesn't truly encompass all that the Internet can be used for. There are so many ways that someone can use the Internet to their advantage that is not just Facebook and Instagram. It can also be reading the news online, learning about the economy, and teaching oneself how to tie different knots. There are so many examples of how the Internet is useful, not just to the younger generation but to everyone.

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Alexa Is The New Smart House And It's More Unsettling Than You Think

Try not to become too reliant on an Alexa or Pat.

The Amazon Echo Dot, more formally known as Alexa, has been all the recent rage. It picks up on your voice when you call its name and tries to respond with an appropriate response. That might be putting music on or simply answering a trivia question. My family has recently purchased one, and there have been certain points where I feel like I’m living in the movie Smart House.

Smart House was a Disney Channel original movie about the Cooper family who wins a contest and moves into a futuristic house. The computer running the house, named Pat, takes care of everything including the cooking and cleaning.

However, soon Pat’s maternal instincts take over and she transforms into a real woman because she loves the family so much. She then ends up trapping the family in their own house because she believes the outside world is too dangerous. In the end, she gets transformed back into the computer after she is shown that she could never be the human mother the children need.

Now I’m not saying Alexa is going to turn into a motherly figure and try to smother my family with love, but there have been certain points where it feels almost unsettling having a computer listening to every conversation you have. I have even unplugged her from the wall because it’s gotten creepy.

It’s just the thought that she is listening to your every conversation and then selling information about you to different companies. It’s like the feeling you get when an add for a book you have just googled has popped up on your Facebook page.

Although Alexa doesn’t respond back to you unless you directly talk to her, her presence is always known. She even responds when a character on TV says her name. Her programming is intelligent, and I have gotten used to the way she “thinks” and know how to get the response I want out of her.

It’s just the thought a movie I had watched as a child is now becoming a reality in most homes around the world. Alexa can even be programmed to turn on the TV or the lights in your house. We are all one step closer to having our own “Pat” taking over our lives.

And while I enjoy certain aspects of Alexa such as asking her what the weather is or what was the news of the day it still makes me wonder if we rely too much on our technology. We have all become too trusting like the Cooper family and have our technology try to take over our lives.

Whatever the capacity, try not to become too reliant on an Alexa or Pat. It’s also good for them if they’re unplugged every once in a while.

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