Cheap Storage, Digital Pack Rats... Opening Up New Possibilities
from the everything-must-stay dept
Back when Google first launched Gmail, the big revolution wasn't necessarily in the interface, but the fact that it was offering 1 Gb of storage for online email, with the announcement noting that you should never have to delete email again. It turns out they were a little hasty in that claim, and even though the company has added a lot more storage, some people still found themselves running out of room and deleting stuff (and now even Google is charging extra for additional storage). However, it certainly is reaching the point where digital storage is so cheap that many companies are finding it easier to just save everything possible. There's no reason to throw out data any more. This has certainly resulted in some problems, such as when companies leak data -- but it's also leading to new potential tools and services, such as much better computer learning systems, that can simply process tons and tons of stored data to figure things out. So, perhaps the quest for better artificial intelligence will actually be served better not by all the attempts at better algorithms or other tricks -- but by the fact that there's so much data out there that no one's getting rid of, that we'll be able to create machines that learn how to be intelligent by going through all of it.