Business Correspondent, The Economist
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.
Luc Barthelet is Executive Director at Wolfram Alpha Inc.
Arkady Borkovsky is the chief technology officer of Yandex Labs based in Silicon Valley. Prior to joining Yandex in 2008, Arkady worked as applying linguistics search quality at Yahoo!, Inktomi, Verity and Wolfram Research. He is an expert in search relevance and statistical semantics. At Yahoo!, Arkady built query speller ("Did you mean:.." ) and search suggestions (Suggest). In late 80s, it was Arkady Borkovsky who, together with Arkady Volozh, founded Arkadia, the company which was developing search considering Russian morphology. Arkadia was Yandex's predecessor. Prior to Arkadia, he worked at AI Lab of Computer Center of Academy of Sciences of the USSR. Arkady graduated from CS department of the Moscow State University.
Kenneth Cukier is the data editor. Previously he was the paper's Tokyo correspondent and covered business and technology from London. Earlier, he worked at the Wall Street Journal Asia in Hong Kong and the International Herald Tribune in Paris. He is the co-author of "Big Data: A Revolution that Will Transform How We Work, Live and Think."
Wolfram Alpha executive director Luc Barthelet discusses how the search engine differs from Google. Barthelet compares Wolfram Alpha's knowledge-based system to interacting with the computer from Star Trek.