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February 15, 2009

The Petabyte Age

According to an article in Wired magazine, the explosion of statistical information brought on by the use of computers calls for an entirely different model for analysis. We are now in the Petabyte Age. A petabyte is a unit of computer storage equal to one quadrillion bytes.

Google is discussed as an example of how data can be analyzed without regard for context. The Google advertising philosophy led to the automatic placement of ads on web pages based on a purely mathematical analysis of content. Peter Norvig, Google's research director, posits that the measurements of large amounts of data will someday replace all known models.

The implications reach far beyond the world of advertising and touch on all areas of science. The scientific method itself, which consists of hypothesis, model, and test, may now face a serious competitor.

Posted by BlogAuthor1 at February 15, 2009 6:43 PM
category: Philosophy of Computing

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