'Flash of Genius' talk at The Economist's Ideas Economy
I gave a talk titled ‘Inside Aadhaar’ about India’s efforts to build an identification system.
June 7th-8th 2011, Santa Clara, California
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, these data can be used to engineer new engines of economic value, unlock scientific breakthroughs, and hold politicians accountable. Managed poorly, they can cause great harm. The financial crisis showed that complex models that analyse 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.