A wild and less predictable web of the future also means stepping back from the “logical” and “foreseeable” and moving closer to unpredictability and irrationality. In today’s world, where algorithms are making us increasingly more transparent and where businesses may well start to send us packages even before we have actually ordered them, we are in need of a “right to irrationality”. Viktor Mayer-Schönberger claims this right – a right “for people not to be forced to choose the empirically rational option.”
The Oxford Internet Institute professor does not regard himself as a Big Data evangelist but rather as a herald for a radically progressing information-revolution. Analysing algorithms as well as uncontrolled and rampant mass volumes of data is his speciality.
In numerous books, including “Delete – The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age” and “Big Data – A Revolution That Will Transform How We Work, Live, and Think”, Mayer-Schönberger questions the looming age of correlation:
“One will no longer know ‘why’, but instead only ‘what’. It is the end of centuries-long established processes and fundamentally changes the way we make decisions and understand reality.”
In 2014, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that these changes, which Viktor Mayer-Schönberger describes, also have a darker side to them. What will be crucial is how we, as cybercitizens, deal with them.
We look forward to welcoming Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and his session on potentials and risks in the endless data-thicket.
Photo: Viktor Mayer-Schönberger