When it comes to storing computer data, it can seem like we are running out of numbers. If you are old enough, remember when floppy disks were measured in kilobytes in the 1980s. If you are a little younger, you are probably more familiar with gigabyte flash drives or terabyte hard drives today.
The incomprehensible fingerprint of human data
But we are now producing data at an unparalleled speed. As a result, we will need to be able to perceive numbers so large that they seem almost inaccessible to human understanding. To learn about the new world we are entering, consider the following: Market intelligence company IDC estimates that global data creation and consumption was 59 zettabytes in 2020 – that’s 59 trillion gigabytes of old money.
However, while the total amount of data now exists on an almost incomprehensible scale, the growth rate is even more impressive. In 2012, IBM estimated that 90% of the world’s data was generated in the last two years. Since then, the exponential growth in global data volumes has continued, and this trend appears to be continuing. In fact, IDC predicts that humanity will produce more data in the next three years than in the last three decades.
The obvious question is: what has changed? Why are we suddenly generating so much more data than ever before? Smartphones are part of the story, of course. Everyone now carries a laptop efficiently in their pocket, which reduces the power of previous generations of desktops. These devices are continuously connected to the Internet and constantly receive and transmit data, even when inactive. The average American adult Z-phone unlocks its phone 79 times a day, about once every 13 minutes. Opposition to these devices has created a flood of new data: 500 million new tweets, 4,000 terabytes of Facebook messages and 65 billion new WhatsApp messages sent out in cyberspace every 24 hours.
Smartphones are just the tip of the iceberg
But smartphones are just the most visible manifestation of the new reality of data. While you can assume that video platforms such as Netflix and YouTube make up the majority of the world’s data, the total consumer share is in fact only around 50%, and this percentage is expected to gradually decline over the next few years. So what is the rest made of?
The advent of the Internet of Things and connected devices has further expanded the reach of our global data. In fact, the fastest annual growth is in the category of information known as embedded data and bandwidth. This is information gathered from sensors, connected machines and automatically generated metadata hidden behind the scenes, out of sight of end users.
Take, for example, autonomous vehicles that use technologies such as cameras, sonar, lidar, radar and GPS to monitor the vehicle’s environment, plan a route and prevent hazards. Intel has calculated that the average autonomous car using modern technology will generate four terabytes of data a day. In comparison, a single vehicle will generate a daily data volume equivalent to 3,000 people. Furthermore, it is extremely important to store this data securely.
On the other hand, it will be useful to plan maintenance intervals and diagnose technical problems more efficiently. It can also be used as part of a decentralized system to coordinate traffic flow and reduce energy consumption in a particular city. Finally, and perhaps most importantly in the short term, legal disputes will have to be settled in the event of personal injury or accidents.
Autonomous cars are just a small part of the story. According to McKinsey & Company, the share of companies using IoT technology increased from 13% to 25% between 2014 and 2019, with the total number of devices expected to reach 43 billion by 2023. From the Internet of Industrial Things to entire smart cities, economies will There will be a significant increase in the number of connected devices in the future that produce potentially highly sensitive data or even sensitive data.
Is Moore’s Law Near The End?
There are two factors to consider, each of which indicates the growing benefits of decentralized networks. First, while we have more data than ever before to tackle global challenges such as climate change, economic instability and the spread of airborne viruses such as COVID-19, we can approach tough technical constraints. in terms of how much this information can be processed. central computers. In reality. Although data volumes have grown significantly in recent years, computing power has not increased at the same rate.