BIS’ four-part series examined the phenomenon known as “the Digital Dark Age.”
In this series, we:
- Defined the Digital Dark Age
- Reviewed How it Will Affect Business
- Discussed Ways to Get at Your Dark Data
And today we look at what will follow the Digital Dark Age, the Digital Renaissance, and one of the tools that will help organizations move into an Age of Informational Enlightenment.
AN AGE of INFORMATIONAL ENLIGHTENMENT:
The Digital Renaissance
After every Dark Age comes a renaissance, and that will also be true of human technology within the next 50 years. Necessity is the mother of invention, and the looming Digital Dark Age has prompted software engineers and technologists to look not only at how much data humanity generates each day, but also at ways in which we can preserve and use that data. Otherwise we run the risk of future generations being aware of the vast quantity of information we gathered, but having no access to it.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
– Arthur C. Clarke
The future Digital Renaissance will come in many forms.
Firstly the idea of “Digital Vellum” will provide our descendants with access to not just the mountains of data we created, but also to the operating systems and computer models that data was stored on. Dr. Vint Cerf, one of the founding fathers of the Internet, has proposed that we create something called a “Digital Vellum”.
In essence this is a snapshot of not only the data that a particular person created, but also the entire operating system and computer involved. All of this information would be stored digitally in the Cloud, ensuring that data is still accessible no matter what.
In 1970 Moore’s Law predicted that computing speed and processor power would double every two years, which it effectively has. The problem is that we’ve advanced so quickly that computer processor manufacturers are slowing down the development of their latest generation of processors, because silicon transistors will reach their miniaturization limit by 2021. Desktop computers and laptops will then have reached their maximum computing capacity, rendering Moore’s Law null and void.
So, by 2021 we can expect to see the first real advances in quantum computing, which is actually long overdue in technological terms. This advance will be as big a technological leap as the first use of fire or gunpowder.
Entirely new industries will spring up around this type of computing, with real artificial intelligence becoming available. Not everyone wants to see actual artificial intelligence become a reality, but it will be part of our lives within the next two decades.
“AI and natural language processing may well make the internet far more useful than it is today.”
– Dr. Vint Cerf
A quantum leap in computing power always creates a demand for accessories and storage to keep up with user demand. The way we store data is also going to change in the most dramatic ways, including the potential for storing data in a holographic array (anybody watch Star Trek?), or even on single atoms, as Intel proved quite recently.
We will very soon have access to technology which could take us on our next step up the Kardashev Scale from a Type 0 civilization, to a Type 1.
Artificial intelligence will be able to think in ways, and dimensions, we can’t even conceive to be possible right now. Computer processors will run so quickly they’ll make current computers look like an abacus in comparison.
It will be an age of true technological enlightenment, but not without inherent risk. We’ll become proud parents of a whole new generation of digital offspring, but we’ll have to raise them very, very carefully.
At the risk of getting too commercial in this entry, we think we would be remiss if we didn’t talk about some of the advances that are already available and are designed to help organizations plan into and around this Digital Dark Age.
If you know anything about us here at BIS, you know we developed what was dubbed, “the world’s first information processing platform.” While Grooper can loosely trace its roots to “capturing” data, our developers’ vision goes far, far beyond that.
Grooper not only allows you to ingest [more] data, it also helps you manage it, index it, classify it, use it…and store it in a format that your organization will have access to well into the future.
Part of the problem (and believe us, it’s just part of the problems we see here at BIS) with many data management/digital asset management tools is that they’re built on old, outdated technology. It simply stands to reason that if you’re using a management (or storage) platform that’s built on dead technology, you ARE going to head into a Digital Dark Age.
That’s not the case with Grooper. Again, not to over-commercialize this entry, but to help you understand more…when you look “under the hood” of Grooper, you see today’s technology and you see it used in ways that don’t require the people in your organization to rely on third-parties to actually use it. What we’re trying to say here is that when you see us emphasize the integration of modern technology such as:
- Computer vision
- Dynamic Machine Learning (next step true artificial intelligence)
- Pattern Recognition
- Natural language processing…among other things…
…our hope is that it gives you a level of confidence that what you’re getting is on the leading edge of what’s going to take you into this Age of Informational Enlightenment, not keep you trapped!
We also believe that part of our mission at BIS is to be the best possible stewards for organizations that are being run by people committed to staying ahead – and avoiding this Digital Dark Age. If we ever walk through the door trying to sell you a piece of technology, rather than an honest way of improving your business processes, you have our permission to show us the way out. It goes against everything we were founded on!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our series on the Digital Dark Age and especially hope it gave you some insight into ways to:
- Understand what the Digital Dark Age Is
- How the Digital Dark Age could affect your business
- How to get at your Dark Data and what to do with it
- Guiding your organization into an Age of Informational Enlightenment
Questions about the Digital Dark Age? The Age of Informational Enlightenment? Contact us. We’ll be happy to help answer your questions!
For a PDF version of this blog entry, click here.