The Information Marketplace: Is Data the Next Bubble?
DR. ALEX KARP Chief Executive Officer, Palantir Technologies
FLIP KROMER Chief Technology Officer, Infochimps
SEAN GOURLEY Chief Technology Officer, Quid
Moderator:KENNETH CUKIER 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.
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."
Sean Gourley is Chief Technology Officer of Quid. Gourley did research into the mathematics of war for his PhD thesis at Balliol College, Oxford. His findings appeared as the featured article in Nature (December 2009) and were the subject of a popular TED talk he presented in May, 2009. These findings as related to statistical analysis, probability, and algorithm development applied to complex systems and large datasets provided the impetus for important Quid core technology. Gourley is a Rhodes Scholar with a PhD in Physics (Complexity) from the University of Oxford. His undergraduate degree in Physics is from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Dr. Alex Karp is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Palantir Technologies. Prior to Palantir, Dr. Karp founded the Caedmon Group. He earned his law degree from Stanford University and his Ph.D. from the University of Frankfurt, Germany. A U.S. citizen, Dr. Karp is bilingual in English and German, and also speaks French.
Flip Kromer is the Founder and CTO of Infochimps, a data marketplace to find any data-set in the world. He holds a B.S. in Physics and Computer Science from Cornell University and attended graduate school in Physics at the University of Texas at Austin. The idea for Infochimps was inspired by his abhorrence of redundancy and desire to make the world a happier place for data lovers of all kinds.