Bob Gourley, former CTO of DIA and current CTO of CrucialPoint LLC was guest lecturing at my Georgetown “Information Warfare and Security” class and was discussing mega technology trends when it occurred to me – the next revolution in big data is going to be about me and you.
We are sitting on a treasure trove of data about ourselves that will be aggregated into big data repositories and analyzed and mined to augment our lives. Quantified self data from your Nike Fuel band, input from your Google Glass, your email, schedule, events you have attended, foods that you ate, times you got sick, searches you conducted, games you played, movies, books, music, social network status, your social graph, news you’ve read, on and on and on….
All this data will be aggregated and mined for our own personal benefit. A few years ago I anticipated the rise of AugBots (software agents that would mine your personal data to predict how they can help you). Imagine that you always call your wife when you are on your way home from work and the AugBot starts anticipating this behavior and when your smart phone indicates you are on your way home (based on GPS data) it asks you whether you want to call your wife. Google Now is pretty close to this level of functionality today and it is only going to get better.
I’m concerned about privacy, but under also understand the advantages of mining this data moving forward. What I want to know is who takes the lead on allowing me to start dumping data into some sort of repository that gets mined for my Google Now results. I’m waiting for when my Google Glass takes a picture of Bob, performs a facial recognition search, identifies who he is, searches my personal big data, and tells me “that’s Bob Gourley. You first met him at an event in 1996.”
With all the quantified self data, this will be rich health data as well. Evaluate food patterns to identify allergies, diagnose a potential illness based upon proximity – you had dinner with Bob three nights ago, and he reported yesterday on Facebook that he has Strep throat – I noticed you just bought throat lozenges – shall I make an appointment to see the doctor about that sore throat?
Imagine a Nest thermostat that starts raising the temperature because it knows you are on your way home or starts cooling because it knows you are scheduled to be out for the day. A security camera that doesn’t alert because it recognizes the faces in your home are from the cleaning service.
Who are the leaders right now? Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple – in that order.
I expect we’ll see start-ups emerge focused on personalized big data. Create your repository, decide who to share with (family, friends, etc), and then decide which APIs can query against it. There will likely be multiple repositories and interfaces between them.
Then we’ll see a layer of augmented intelligence interfacing with the data at an application layer.
Of course, security will be a concern, but I’m not sure if security winds up being essential or irrelevant.
And all of this will start happening in the next five years.