Data is one commonality all today’s emerging technologies and levels of society share.
Cloud computing, the internet of things, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, complex analytics and other new technologies all involve the storage, sorting, sharing, manipulating and analyzing data. People are the largest producers of it.
The Obama administration was acutely aware of this fact,enacting executive orders to open up more data and launchingprojects around big data like thePrecision Medicine Initiative,Cancer Moonshot andPolice Data Initiative.
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“Data is a force multiplier in every level of society,” said White House Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil, speaking Thursday before a crowd of 10,000 at Amazon Web Services’ re:Invent conference in Las Vegas.
Patil, whose position will be one of many President-elect Donald Trump may opt to fill come Jan. 20, spent most of his remarks outlining the significance data plays. The data already exists, Patil said, to solve some important crises—if only we could piece together the pieces.
“In cancer, the answer isn’t in a database; it’s in thousands of databases,” Patil said. “It’s fragmented. The answer is likely out there. We just don’t know how to put it together.”
Patil also called technologists to action, nudging them to serve the public by employing their technical excellence for the greater good.