We don't want to know the truth

Are we ready to be told what we look like? This is one of the promises of Big Data.

In this world constrained by the pattern of the thoughtless, where we shamelessly post photos of ourselves on the beach, summertime fun or tender newborns online, we are only beginning to glimpse a faint thread of awareness that perhaps the same technology that allows us to boast of happiness and social embrace also serves to contribute something good to the place that provides us with the means to be enviable digital humans.

Recently, I listened to a TV programme focusing on the amount of plastic we humans generate in the world. The programme in question was a tour of various sites, chosen with digital assistance, by tourists whose purpose was the one mentioned in the previous paragraph: upload the photo to the social network of the moment, probably with no other desire than to say "I was there". The flow always repeats itself: tourists landing in that year's paradise, leaving their mark and making the world a poorer place.

At that moment, my work came to mind, the technology dedicated to data analysis, and the different projects we carry out on social network analysis. I thought about some of the use cases we solve, in this case, those related to sentiment analysis, that is, the processing of natural language to extract information about its content. Finally, the word irony and a place, Maya Bay, came to mind. I found it ironic that the same people who were using technology to say, "I've been here" and recommending that place to their friends to visit him, were the same ones that made those friends have a worse experience visiting him than they did. It was at this point that I associated consciousness with technology, and the most logical question came to mind: What can I do?

Let's talk about technology. The latest number I read about the volume of data is 600 ZB. The number doesn't matter, because it is an estimate. What matters is that each time it is updated, it is larger over the same date for which it is estimated. In other words, every time humans and machines put more and more information somewhere digital, which means that every time we have at our fingertips the possibility to know what is going on in the world and to be aware of it.

To be aware of the magnitude of something happening is purely subjective. Each person is or is not, but with the help of data analysis we can offer a way for all people who wish to do so, to cross, objectively, from the non-conscious to the conscious side and make them aware of the cause-effect relationship that exists in every decision that is made.

Based on all this, these are three reflections where Big Data technology can bring differentiating value:

We believe too many lies

With the exception of the naturally sceptical, we humans tend to believe almost everything we are told and react immediately. Technology makes it possible to capture our primary reactions to the digital impacts we receive, without being aware that they will remain online forever.

The machine learning on Big Data environments serves as a sieve to separate truth from fiction. If we show content consumers what is true and what is false, they can learn to be critical of lies and to reflect before positioning themselves in a digital environment, turning the network into a space for constructive dialogue that is always positive for absolutely everything.

We do not learn from the past

The Big Data technology is capable of processing absolutely all the information stored since the dawn of time, even non-digital information. At the same time, non-compliance with working protocols by the custodians of the information makes their data models inefficient and undocumented, which makes their exploitation very difficult.

The digital transformation carried out in many companies by the hand of the Big Data has served as a catalyst of good practices for many of them. Work phases have been defined in which Big Data has served as a computer for legacy data and work methodologies have been defined that focus on improving process performance and monetisation of information.

For these reasons, and for companies where this type of technology represents a singular value, Big Data is making us learn from the past and not make the same mistakes over and over again, freeing up the means to extract knowledge from data, although we are only at the beginning of the real transformation.

We do not take advantage of the full capacity of technology

Humans consume the world without perspective and have made immediacy our standard. In this case, Big Data can be used to transfer the concept of planet to all these new digital natives and make them aware of what awaits them, for example, in terms of pollution, if they do not remedy it as immediately as they demand. likes.

In the same way that algorithms are used for artificial intelligence to bombard us with advertising offers based on the customer segment to which we belong or to associate faces with identities in images or videos, they can also be used to identify uncivic behaviour in these and create a culture of respect, in which reporting is not seen as a decision of countercultural minorities, but as an effort to care for the place where we live.

Finally, I would like to share a reflection that comes from the hand of Blade Runner. It is clear that the real technological background is economic. Technology enriches, and enriches a lot. But have we ever stopped to think what good is it going to do to be technologically super-evolved and absurdly wealthy if we don't have a paradise where we can enjoy our successes?

Let us act with a consistent perspective for the future.

Author: David Santibáñez. https://www.linkedin.com/in/dasantibanez/

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