To Clear Out Your Inbox, You Need More Power

Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - 01:00 AM

The amount of data on the internet increases exponentially every year. It's now measured by the zettabyte, which is almost a trillion times larger than the measly gigabyte we've come to know so well. We used to be swimming in data. Now we're drowning in it. So, how can we stay afloat?

Martin Hilbert, an economics affairs officer with the United Nations, looks at how the digitization of information and communications is affecting society. (Well, actually, societies. He does work for the U.N. after all). 

He says the way to solve the e-information overload is by fighting fire with fire. In other words, we need to build systems that allow us to compress these big data sets, search through them in smart new ways, and tease knowledge out of what may just seem like a mess of noise.

"While in the last 20 years, we've focused a lot on creating more information and data, I think the next 10 or 20 or 30 years will focus on creating intelligent solutions to extract knowledge from it," Hilbert says. 

This interview is an excerpt from this week's New Tech City, exploring the value of the delete key. You can listen to the full podcast below or on iTunes.


Martin Hilbert

Hosted by:

Manoush Zomorodi

Produced by:

Alex Goldmark and Daniel P. Tucker


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