It's been said that the human brain is comprised of 300 million pattern matchers fed with data from our five primary senses and memories. In this age of distributed computing and cheap storage in the cloud, "thinking" without a biological brain is possible for the first time in history. The sensory input into this new, extracorporeal brain is big data.
Global data supply chains carry exabytes of government, corporate, and social data powering breakthrough uses in medicine, transportation, communications, and energy. However, equally fantastic is the specter of abuses by powerful players to exploit private information, subtly discriminate, or mistakenly prosecute the innocent.
This talk discusses the current state of these data supply chains, where they are headed, and the societal implications for privacy, security, and liberty. And it calls technologists, business leaders, and humanists -- i.e., geeks, suits, and wonks -- to together resolve the tension between cultural values and fast-paced technology.