Digital & Technology

DLD speaker Rick Smolan and his brother Sandy publish their new film online

The human face of big data

THE HUMAN FACE OF BIG DATA examines the promises and perils of an unstoppable force that many believe will have a thousand times greater impact on humanity and civilization than the internet itself. The data revolution is unlike anything humanity has ever experienced. Now, every two days, the human race is generating as much data as was generated from the dawn of humanity through the year 2003. Today, individuals in the world’s major cities are exposed to as much information in a single day as their 15th-century ancestors were exposed to in an entire lifetime.

Narrated by actor Joel McHale and directed by Sandy Smolan, the film features compelling human stories, stunning visuals and in-depth interviews with dozens of pioneering scientists, entrepreneurs, futurists and experts to illustrate how Big Data (which is still in its infancy) is already address some of humanity’s biggest challenges, including health, hunger, pollution, security and disaster response. The film includes conversations with Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter and Square; Linda Avey, co-founder of 23andMe; New York Times journalist Charles Duhigg; MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito; Aaron Koblin, director of Google Creative Labs; Jennifer Pahlka of Code for America; Jay Walker, director of TEDMED and more.

In the film, John Battelle, CEO of Federated Media, crystallizes what he and many experts believe: “The era of Big Data is an important inflection point in human history and represents a critical moment in our civilization’s development—one in which we will face a number of fateful decisions about how we interact with each other, with business and with government.” Battelle adds, “The decisions we make during this period will frame the kind of world we’ll leave to future generations. Who will control the data we create? What access will we allow citizens to the machinations of government? What kind of people will we become when every single one of us is deeply connected to a socially aware platform like Facebook? Are we building systems—in healthcare, energy, finance— that are too complicated for any of us to understand, much less control?”

The award winning film will also be available beginning on Thursday, February 25th — at any time, on any device — at CuriosityStream.com (use the promo code HUMANDATA to get a free 2 month subscription).