Big Brother is here, it’s the bots

June 25 would have been the 110th birthday of George Orwell. I was reminded of this by the article in Popsci which features some pretty odd photos, here’s an example:

Surveillance camera donning hat in celebration of Orwell birthday

Surveillance camera donning hat in celebration of Orwell birthday

So they say one picture is worth a thousand words; in this case that’s not the case. Facebook, Google, are taking your words (and pictures too), thousands, millions of them and crunching them into big data piles that then get analyzed and simonized and turned into the real truth about you, which then gets turned into “gold” for the data miners who make sure the information gets into the right hands.  How important is all of this in the world of goods and services? Very important. McKinsey&Company, one of the “mining companies” that stands to gain by all of this makes it abundantly clear how critical the data is to our future as a society in the “picture” they paint in their post:

Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity

They’re not kidding around. The larger question is whether all of this manipulation and usage of personal information is innocuous, beneficent, or malevolent?  It is not yet clear what the big picture will be.

2 Responses

  1. All the information gathered about us by “Big Brother,” i.e the companies like McKinsey&Company is rather worrying. I agree whole heartily that we don’t really know to what degree the information gathered about our browsing habits can be used in the future.

    Fine, right now this information is being used to send tailor made advertising to users but who knows, maybe in the future this information can be used to control the populous and instill the belief system of those who have the information gathered by the data miners. Much like in George Orwell’s vision in “1984.”

    • Thanks for your comment. What may seem innocuous at the time may have unintended consequences. In this case if we are not perceptive enough to fully consider potential ramifications it is the public that will suffer such consequences.

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