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The End of Big Data

Sogeti Labs
November 09, 2012

When can we expect this Big Data thing to end? Some people are getting a little fed up with the topic although the best and most relevant is definitely yet to come. Still, their irritation is a perfect trigger to try and scope today’s instrumental Big Data issues a bit more. So, what technology could in one fell swoop blow away the current Big Data hype that eclipses the real questions and answers? The Quantum Solution The solution that comes to mind is quantum computing. Quantum computers will in theory excel at the massively parallel processing of unstructured data. So-called “quantum entanglement” can bring revolutionary new technologies for secure communication and ultra-fast computation. It is one of the most intriguing phenomena in physics. Spooky Action at a Distance When two particles are entangled, their properties are so strongly connected that they lose their own identity. Measuring both particles yields fully correlated outcomes, even when the particles are very far apart. Einstein famously called this feature “spooky action at a distance.” It was only after John Bell in 1964 found an inequality that could prove these weird properties that entanglement was accepted as a fundamental part of nature. Diamond Qubits Atomic nuclei in synthetic diamond are promising building blocks for a quantum computer. They behave like a tiny magnet. The two orientations of the magnetic spin can be used to encode information in so-called quantum bits, or “qubits.” Scientists from the Netherlands (Delft University of Technology and the FOM Foundation) and the UK (Element Six) have now brought two atomic nuclei in a diamond into a quantum entangled state. This exotic relation was created by subjecting the nuclei to a new type of quantum measurement. These experiments mark an important step towards the realization of a quantum computer. The results were published on 14 October 2012 online in Nature Physics. Teleportation The scientists proved that the nuclei were entangled by violating the famous Bell inequality. The team now plans to use the entanglement to demonstrate basic quantum algorithms that have no classical counterpart, such as the teleportation of spin states. Explaining Computers In two uniquely authoritative articles on Big Data and Quantum Computing, uber nerd Christopher Barnatt of presents these trending topics in a way that will mitigate the irritation of even the grumpiest Big Data haters. Only to realize that there is no end to Big Data but that the instrumental hype may soon end. Big Data will progress as artificial intelligence advances, and as new types of computer processing power become available. In March 2012 the U.S. National Security Agency announced that it is spending $2bn on a highly-fortified data center with a 512 qubit quantum computer called Vesuvius. Now it’s time for really hard questioning and answering . . . Big Brother CIA Chief Petraeus explains: “Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters — all connected to the next-generation Internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing. The latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately, heading to quantum computing.” Source: Atomic nuclei intimately entangled by a quantum measurement, TU Delft 2012

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SogetiLabs gathers distinguished technology leaders from around the Sogeti world. It is an initiative explaining not how IT works, but what IT means for business.


    2 thoughts on “The End of Big Data

    1. Please read the last line, and read on from there:
      “I’d like to briefly discuss three major challenges of this new era: the utter transparency of the digital world, the enormous task of processing so-called Big Data, and the ever-greater need for speed.”
      “And it’s an enormous field to cover: again, the whole world, with proliferation of weapons and technology, cyber threats, counterintelligence threats, the next developments in the evolution of the Arab Spring, Iran, North Korea, China, illegal narcotics, emerging powers, non-state organizations, and even lone wolves. Our duty is nothing less than to be on top of every potential foreign challenge and opportunity facing the United States—and we now have to do it without the steady budget growth we saw in the years after 9/11. And this is why my job is so intellectually stimulating.
      Against this backdrop, transformational changes in the nature of intelligence work have driven us to adopt the kind of innovative technologies developed by the firms represented in this room. And I’d like to briefly discuss three major challenges of this new era: the utter transparency of the digital world, the enormous task of processing so-called Big Data, and the ever-greater need for speed.”

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