Before you start reading, I would like to give you a little acknowledgment about what this article is about and how it is demonstrated. The article is written to give a good understanding of data, its potential, and what makes it so important for future generations. It does not require any software, science or engineering knowledge. But I’m a software engineer myself, I judged each argument for the real-life case and demonstrated, as far as I’m concerned.
To start off I would like to mention the importance of Information for humankind in order to maintain their life. Every animal species has their own skills of giving the survival fight and apparently human do that mostly with their brain. Our brain can do calculations, compare the aftermath of incidents and as a result, we can unconsciously give decisions next time we come across to a similar situation, to give better results our brain needs better information.
The demand for information has been recognized way back in 2600BC — , so libraries were found. When the internet was invented, many people considered it as the biggest library ever built, in fact, it was actually more than just a library. Since then many problems were brought up about this grand library and solved by its own humongous audience. One of the basic once was finding the information, just as in any library the structure was necessary, but for this one, the basic library structure wasn't enough to locate the required information, and so “Search Engines” were built. There was even a joke which only lasted too short, it was “The Internet is the biggest library except all the books are on the floor”.
From this point on I would like to shift the topic to somewhere different. Imagine you have a very good “artificial intelligence”, assume that what you have is a great algorithm but lacking in information.
How would you solve this problem?...
You presumably would build a tool for it to scout through a massive social-media website to collect data, but the better solution would be building a tool that, not only collects data from a “social media” website but instead scouts through the vast web, which is an entire universe itself.
From that moment on you would have various issues, but one major issue would stand out, which is actually a question that another intelligence is required to answer, it is “which data is reliable and which is not”. When faced this issue most people ask for help from someone who has experimental knowledge about the topic. Most of the time you get away with not having practice about the issue, but occasionally you will have to deal with the consequences. Here is an example to relate this to our topic, let's say you need an application, but there are too many to choose from on the internet that you can not decide which one is reliable and which is not. What might happen is, you download an application, try to run it, and it ends up being fake. Then chances are you will lose your entire data by an infected virus is very high. To this day, those whom not rely on the web for their day to day business might think this is not a big deal, but brace yourself, because things are about to get a lot more serious.
I was listening to Joe Rogen Broadcast where he was hosting Jordan Peterson, they were talking about how the newspapers and tv channels are dying. The reason is that new system which is the “internet” in this case is a lot more better since it allows instant access to the information you are looking for, and there is no such thing as missing something, because you can always go back and see what you missed which you might have wanted, plus it’s free, besides that with the new recommendation systems that were built by educating machines which ironically requires incredible amount of data can give you the exact information that you might have been looking for or would be interested in. So this actually opens a door for information being shared in a different manner, which is not a raw data on a website, but instead sets of objects in database systems. That can be sold in a package form which would represent the digital books, it would completely change the way that information is being presented, and your family friend “internet” would become the old fashion “information technology”.
We are already experiencing direct information transfers to the human mind in minor level, most people who are involved in modern civilization have spent money on books, courses, and education, which is basically buying reliable data. Nowadays audiobooks have actually started covering a big part of obtaining information. You can think of audio books or any kind of information you get without even moving fingers as plugging a cable and transferring data. In the current state of data transfer, your brain is protected by your frontal lobe and you don’t accept everything as your own, or as the only possible notion, at least you shouldn’t. Even in the present case you have a big chance of getting manipulated, this happens very often and in most cases manipulated people never realize that their mind is being played until its too late.
However, even manipulation might become a joke when compared to the consequences of unwanted data being downloaded into the human brain, from a shared cloud. This is an entirely different concept itself, but it was the reason why I mentioned everything before.
I understand that the idea of plugging anything to human body sounds really disturbing, but I will demonstrate a way how it might become a casual thing. Internet, which we regularly carry in our pocket is also a way of expending our minds. But once human can connect to the cloud it won’t need to store all information in its own “local” memory, brain. From there on the brain will become a processor with a huge amount of RAM.
The idea of having all the available information that is known to humankind as if it is your own experimental knowledge is very exciting. So how the process of transferring knowledge from could into your brain is supposed to happen?
Ray Kurzweil the American Computer Scientist who is also known for his good futurist abilities has a prediction, or in this case a “solution”, he says “the computers might get so small, that they are at the size of blood cells, so they can be placed into human body with an injection”, which then would allow our brain to wirelessly connect to network.
Here comes the reason why this article is named Data.
Once everyone has this kind of access to the internet, data will become the most desired and expensive asset in the world. The cost of cheap or free data might be contagious viruses which might lead to corrupted microscopic computers running in your veins, heart, brain, and any other possible organ that you can think of. In near future human brain might easily have it is the biggest evolution since we developed the frontal lobe, which helps with some skills such as judgment, solving problems, language etc. With all the new opportunities of the “all knowledge available”, it would no longer matter what you were thought. In fact, entire education might change and focus on problem-solving rather than storing information.
Of course, instant access to data won’t magically allow cloud behave as part of the physical brain, that would be Lucy. Over time we will develop the ability to observe information in a faster manner. As far as I’m able to imagine at the moment, we can not create a file type for the data to be easily understandable by the human brain, it is actually why languages and math exist, which is in a way the evolution of telepathy, or the way we can understand our surroundings.
It will take time, and probably change the shape of the brain, perhaps we will become more forgetful but use live information during the entire day. The human brain might eventually start running a lot more computer-friendly, and do better maths.
I can extend the topic and draw it anywhere I want because it is an unknown altogether. but I want to leave it with a few sentences to your imagination.
Maybe the “AI” we are expecting to kill humanity will be a bunch of computers sitting in a human body, collaborating with the human brain and driving the flesh as Avatar. That might be even your very own grandchildren.