The more sensors we have, the more data we have; the more data we have, the more decisions need to be made about what to automate and how to do that. Currently, we see enthusiasm around the role of AI to track and predict things like weather, migration, and earthquakes. The real paradigm shift will happen when we have high-quality data and better ways to manage it, protect it, and make sense of it.
5G connectivity will make it possible to collect and process data more quickly. However, organizations will need to incorporate the infrastructure cost of collecting, processing, and making sense of massive amounts of data.
We need a stronger ethical imagination to understand unintended consequences of data and technology. The more data you collect, the more risk you assume. For example, opening up Strava’s fitness-tracking data set made for really fun data visualization; until someone pointed out that the company had unintentionally revealed secret military bases around the globe, putting individuals and nations at risk. Effective solutions to many types of problems require accurate data and thoughtful decision-making.
Many of us have grown up in a world where privacy was dead or dying. Now we’re increasingly concerned about how our data is used. The promise of personalization and innovation often asks people to put their trust in the powers that be. But we’ve seen examples of large-scale problems in tech and other industries, and policies aren’t keeping up with technology. Organizations need to assume responsibility for their connections and contributions to society.