Big Data is the latest buzz work in cyberdom, “It’s a revolution,” says Gary King, director of Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science. Quoted in a NY Times article by Steve Lohr, King says: “We’re really just getting under way. But the march of quantification, made possible by enormous new sources of data, will sweep through academia, business and government. There is no area that is going to be untouched.”
While that may mean numbers and analysis it also means algorithms that scurry across virtual mountains of seemingly unrelated data to produce headlight beams that see between snowflakes, cars that talk to each other to avoid crashes, cell phones that keep people from texting while driving and other practical apps for motoring.
Even more eye-opening is a gesture-based device called Leap Motion. According to Kailia Colbin in Online Spin you plug it into your computer and you control your virtual environment with a flick of your hand. It is actually faster, she reports, than any methods involving friction. But that seems like child’s play when Colbin goes on to describe “Blink” which allows a paralyzed artist to move his eyes to a pen, blink to pick it up and “Think” which does not require a blink. Just move the eyes to the pen and think.
Other than the fascination with these marvels that were once stage tricks, there is the promise inherent in the deluge of data pouring down in all fields that auto writing, while currently being whipped by redundancy, diluted by hundreds, nay, thousands of dispatchers has a promising future. Big Data will create more to write about and it will devise systems to distill the significant according to a reader’s personality and preferences and shape our means of transportation until we ‘think” and we are there.
Our thanks to Silvio Calabi who provided his fellow NEMPA members with these links:
Headlights That Let Drivers See Through Snow
Look Out!: Ann Arbor Cars to Communicate with One Another to Avoid Crashes
Could Cell Phones Stop People from Texting While Driving?
Also Kailia Colbin: Think Gesture Control Is Cool? Try Thought Control