Director, AlloSphere Research Facility, University of California, Santa Barbara
The era of big data presents incredible opportunities -- smarter cities, stronger companies, faster medicine -- but just as many challenges. Storage is scarce, systems overloaded, governments and businesses know too much. The world now contains unimaginably vast amounts of digital information, which is growing exponentially. Managed well, this data can be used to engineer new engines of economic value, unlock scientific breakthroughs, and hold politicians accountable. Managed poorly, it can cause great harm.
The financial crisis showed that complex models that analyze large quantities of data do not always reflect financial risk in the real world. The financial crisis was sparked by big data -- and there will be others. But the data deluge will also generate millions of new ideas for how to solve big problems, build new markets, and expand existing ones. Ideas Economy: Information is a fresh look at knowledge management for the information age.
The Economist will bring together theorists, strategists, and innovators who understand how to harness data to create value and advance individual, corporate, and social good. We will sift through the vast quantities of current thinking on data to uncover the best ways forward. And we will apply the lessons of the Ideas Economy, about innovation, human capital, and intelligent infrastructure, to uncover new sources of growth and accelerate human progress across the globe.
JoAnn Kuchera-Morin is a composer, Professor of Media Arts and Technology and Music, and a researcher in multi-modal media systems content and facilities design. Her years of experience in digital media research led to the creation of a multi-million dollar sponsored research program for the University of California -- the Digital Media Innovation Program -- where she was chief scientist from 1998-2003. The culmination of Dr Kuchera-Morin's creativity and research is the AlloSphere instrument, one of the largest media systems in the world. Professor Kuchera-Morin serves as the Director of the AlloSphere Research Facility located within the California NanoSystems Institute, at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The AlloSphere, a 30-foot diameter sphere built inside a 3-story near-to-anechoic cube, was invented to facilitate research collaborations in an environment that can simulate reality. Scientifically, the AlloSphere is an instrument for gaining insight and developing bodily intuition about environments into which the body cannot venture -- abstract higher-dimensional information spaces, the worlds of the very small or very large, and the realms of the very fast or very slow. Artistically, it is an instrument for the creation and performance of avant-garde new works and the development of new modes and genres of expression and forms of immersion-based entertainment. The AlloSphere is one of the largest immersive scientific instruments in the world containing unique features such as true 3D, 360-degree projection of visual and aural data, and sensing and camera tracking for interactivity.