On 16th September, 2015 Professor Viktor Mayer Schönberger, a most authoritative scholar in Big Data, gave a lecture at Soochow University under the co-sponsorship with Global News magazine. The speech was followed by a panel discussion with Economic Minister Chen-Chung Deng and Soochow Vice President Wei-Liang Chao.
Big data is a new revolution, not just tools and technology, but also brand new way of thinking. To conform to the new trend of the age, Soochow University established the School of Big Data Management, the first and only in Taiwan.
Predicting the future has always been the ultimate dream of human beings, however, lack of scientific knowledge in the past often turned prophecies into superstitions. With the approaching smart computing, and the help of big data management we are now enabled to do new kind of prophesy. As Professor Mayer Schönberger pointed out, by collecting and analyzing big data we can gain more perspectives to view the world, accelerate process of exploring science. Big Data is based on science but changes science at the same time. When quantitative change leads to qualitative change, we are able to find out what we couldn’t see and understand in the past.
He took coin-tossing as an example to explain that 50 percent of heads and tails is only an idealized outcome in science. A more precise analysis would be to toss the coin ten thousand times and see which side comes down more often. Big data is an on-going discovery of the world. We have to continue gathering and analyzing sufficient amount of data to be closer to reality, and to find true value. Moreover, he said, the world is more than just one and nil.
So far, we are creating more than two million and five hundred thousand trillion bits of data per day globally with rapid growth in scale, speed, complexity. Faced with the new age, our society needs talents able to decipher data with greater demands in instantaneity, accuracy, and more advanced analysis. Mayer-Schönberger said that with the ever increasing data, we need to replace the old with creativity. We cannot stop, but instead try to find the trend through diverse data. He declared that the emerging revolution of big data is the only assurance for our employability.
With the coming of big data, Mayer-Schönberger reminded young people not to do what has already been done, but keep challenging new horizons through data analysis. We need to be ambitious so that we will believe we are talented and confident. He encouraged students to break away from the past, to keep trying, and to master the big data age with creativity.
●about Viktor Mayer-Schönberger
Outstanding expert in Big Data / Author of best seller “Big Data”
Professor of Graduate School of Internet, University of Oxford
Consultant to Microsoft, World Economic Forum, companies, and organizations
Written eight books and more than 100 papers on Big Data
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