Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Kevin Kelly on The Google Way of Science


So far Correlative Analytics, or the Google Way of Science, has primarily been deployed in sociological realms, like language translation, or marketing. That's where the zillionic data has been. All those zillions of data points generated by our collective life online. But as more of our observations and measurements of nature are captured 24/7, in real time, in increasing variety of sensors and probes, science too will enter the field of zillionics and be easily processed by the new tools of Correlative Analytics. In this part of science, we may get answers that work, but which we don't understand. Is this partial understanding? Or a different kind of understanding?

Perhaps understanding and answers are overrated. "The problem with computers," Pablo Picasso is rumored to have said, "is that they only give you answers." These huge data-driven correlative systems will give us lots of answers -- good answers -- but that is all they will give us. That's what the OneComputer does -- gives us good answers. In the coming world of cloud computing perfectly good answers will become a commodity. The real value of the rest of science then becomes asking good questions.

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