The article is timely, interesting and references mentioned are also interesting.
Ultimately data sources can provide all the SUBSTANCE but cannot infuse the SOUL of interpretations, inferences, interconnectivities etc like the human mind.
Both pro data and anti-data brigade are wrong as they tend to take extreme positions.
Data, like money, is important for the things that it can provide.
Though the article throws light on excessive dependence, importance and getting carried away by the world of data and AI etc, they can never replace the importance of many other factors most of which emanate from the mind, human mind.
Data is a very vital and extremely useful tool for many purposes; I repeat many purposes because it gets its strength from its contributory utility. These trends of worshiping data are all the result of conclusions arrived at due to the ecstasy of revelations of research into reverse engineering.
Tweaking anything and everything to create something new or come out with some modified version of some existing thing is both interesting and easiest way to unleash the human creative instinct and also draw certain conclusions, but all these have a saturation point.
Even in natural evolution certain designs are adopted others discarded based on the adaptive utility of a particular organ at a particular place and period.
To get an idea into the whole gamut of how the MIND works, not the physical organ brain, and how many things are shaped by various factors in the evolutionary process which involves almost everything or many things around, within and beyond the ken of human intellect.
To get a more comprehensive picture of these issues I wish a more exhaustive list of reference works which are or may be related to this topic like:-
1] How the Mind works by Steven Pinker –excellent research work
2] The Emperor’s New Mind by Roger Penrose- with high dose of advanced mathematics and excellent explanation of concepts of physics.
3] The Seven Mysteries of Life – by Guy Murchie – the most exhaustive book on almost all aspects of evolutionary processes.
4] Human Destiny by Le Comte du Nüoy- the biochemical explanation of human destiny
5] Works of Richard Dawkins, Neale Donald Walsch etc
While a large volume of data can throw up lot of ideas it cannot interpret or suggest proper utilization of those ideas.
While a large volume of data can throw up lot of thoughts it cannot do the thinking beyond a certain extent and besides a specified path of predefined command.
While a large volume of data can throw up lot of knowledge/information inputs it cannot initiate or ensure to neither enhance understanding nor can even restrict frames of reference for understanding.
While a large volume of data can throw up lot of insights into the working patterns based on permutations it cannot provide the wisdom to choose that comes with churning that life undergoes chronologically in the form of experience.
However one wonders from the many diversions in this article the author in keeping with the policy of this media house is keener on criticizing everything that is positive about data and its usage.
Why The Hindu does not sell in anonymity? It too scrupulously guards its customer details and not only that it has been desperately culling more data through distribution to many educational institutions and has almost the entire data of all students in many schools between the age groups of 13 to 17.
These are imperatives of marketing strategy and everyone respects that though this media house always resorts to ugly political bias.
article in The Hindu http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/the-big-data-conundrum/article7224734.ece#comments