We have generated a huge amount of information, which is very cheap to collect. But we are now able to see patterns and develop a new understanding of data. This gives us the potential to change our behavior.
As 80 percent of all humans own some sort of mobile phone, the amount of data we are creating is exploding. This so-called data exhaust can be just that -- exhaust and noise -- but it can also be collected and analysed, and then utilized as one of the most powerful assets in the 21st century economy.
That's the view of tech giants such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon, and organizations such as the World Economic Forum. Big Data is becoming as powerful an asset as oil, and it will be the source of many high quality jobs in the near future. There is also a dark side of Big Data, of course, as it can be seen as a threat to our privacy.
As we explore in today's lesson, Big Data can also be seen as a threat to free will. If predictive analytics can be used to pinpoint our behavior, even before we have purchased a product or committed a crime, how does that impact our understanding of free will and how we treat individuals accordingly?