The start-up company, Factual, is one of social media’s many spin-offs, seeking to mine data that will answer questions important to anyone’s business or personal curiosity. Known variously as Big Data, Factual’s quest to identify every fact in the world, and to hold them all in one company or combination of them, offers a titillating glimpse into the future of inter-connectivity. What would the world look like if we could gather every slice of data? Without becoming too philosophical or having your head hurt like contemplating infinity might, it surely glimpses potential to cure diseases, map climate change, trace fragments left by ancestors and earlier life as well as give us granularity to our lives now never before imagined. Information overload? Perhaps, but the ability to see patterns is no doubt enhanced by more data that goes into that information compilation that hopefully leads to better and richer lives. The philosopher seeks truth; Big Data seeks clues. Both have a role it seems to me. What do you think?
You can read the NY Times Sunday Business article on Gilad Elbaz’s company and its mission: here.