The Human Face of Big Data

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The images and stories captured in The Human Face of Big Data are the result of an extraordinary artistic, technical, and logistical juggling act aimed at capturing the human face of the Big Data Revolution.
Big Data is defined as the real time collection, analyses, and visualization of vast amounts of the information.  In the hands of Data Scientists this raw information is fueling a revolution which many people believe may have as...
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The images and stories captured in The Human Face of Big Data are the result of an extraordinary artistic, technical, and logistical juggling act aimed at capturing the human face of the Big Data Revolution.
Big Data is defined as the real time collection, analyses, and visualization of vast amounts of the information.  In the hands of Data Scientists this raw information is fueling a revolution which many people believe may have as big an impact on humanity going forward as the Internet has over the past two decades. Its enable us to sense, measure, and understand aspects of our existence in ways never before possible.
The Human Face of Big Data captures, in glorious photographs and moving essays, an extraordinary revolution sweeping, almost invisibly, through business, academia, government, healthcare, and everyday life. It's already enabling us to provide a healthier life for our children. To provide our seniors with independence while keeping them safe. To help us conserve precious resources like water and energy. To alert us to tiny changes in our health, weeks or years before we develop a life-threatening illness. To peer into our own individual genetic makeup. To create new forms of life.  And soon, as many predict, to re-engineer our own species. And we've barely scratched the surface . . .
Over the past decade, Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt, co-founders of Against All Odds Productions, have produced a series of ambitious global projects in collaboration with hundreds of the world's leading photographers, writers, and graphic designers. Their Day in the Life projects were credited for creating a mass market for large-format illustrated books (rare was the coffee table book without one). 
Today their projects aim at sparking global conversations about emerging topics ranging from the Internet (24 Hours in Cyberspace), to Microprocessors (One Digital Day), to how the human race is learning to heal itself, (The Power to Heal) to the global water crisis (Blue Planet Run).
This year Smolan and Erwitt dispatched photographers and writers in every corner of the globe to explore the world of “Big Data” and to determine if it truly does, as many in the field claim, represent a brand new toolset for humanity, helping address the biggest challenges facing our species.
The book features 10 essays by noted writers:
Introduction: OCEANS OF DATA by Dan Gardner Chapter 1: REFLECTIONS IN A DIGITAL MIRROR by Juan Enriquez, CEO, Biotechnomomy Chapter 2: OUR DATA OURSELVES by Kate Green, the Economist Chapter 3: QUANTIFYING MYSELF by AJ Jacobs, Esquire Chapter 4: DARK DATA by Marc Goodman, Future Crime Institute Chapter 5:  THE SENTIENT SENSOR MESH by Susan Karlin, Fast Company Chapter 6: TAKING THE PULSE OF THE PLANET by Esther Dyson, EDventure Chapter 7: CITIZEN SCIENCE by Gareth Cook, the Boston Globe Chapter 8: A DEMOGRAPH OF ONE by Michael Malone, Forbes magazine Chapter 9: THE ART OF DATA by Aaron Koblin, Google Artist in Residence Chapter 10: DATA DRIVEN by Jonathan Harris, Cowbird
The book will also feature stunning info graphics from NIGEL HOLMES.
1) GOOGLING GOOGLE: all the ways Google uses Data to help humanity
4) AUCTIONING EYEBALLS: The world of Internet advertising
5) FACEBOOK: A Billion Friends
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  • The Human Face of Big Data
    The Human Face of Big Data  

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“In a gripping series of graphs, charts, and essays, the authors capture the meaning of the digital revolution.” --Entertainment Weekly
“…an enormous volume… that chronicles, through a splash of photos and eye-opening essays and graphics, the rise of the information society…. a curious, wonderful beast -- a solid slab that captures a virtual universe... This is one of those rare animals that captures its era in the most distinct of ways. It's the kind of thing you'd put in a time capsule for your children today to show them, long after you're gone, what the world was like at the beginning of their lives.” --Ted Anthony, Associated Press
"Big Data Gets its own Photo Album" --The New York Times
"Its a beautiful book!" --Soledad O'Brien, CNN
"Far more than a coffee table book" --The Wall Street Journal
"Visceral, emotional and tangible." --Wired
"Mind-blowingly powerful." --GigaOm
"Inspiring." --San Jose Mercury News
"A curious, wonderful beast - captures a virtual universe with eye-opening essays and graphics." --Huffington Post

Kirkus Reviews
Crunch the numbers, change the world: a big book, backed by big business (EMC, Cisco and FedEx, which did not have editorial input), on the big ocean of information that humans are generating, for better or worse. Smolan (of Day in the Life series fame) and Erwitt (co-authors: America at Home, 2008, etc.) open with an aptly numerate observation from Eric Schmidt, the executive chair of Google: From the dawn of time until 2003, humans spun out 5 exabytes (that is, 5 quintillion bytes) of data, an amount we now generate every two days. We take in much of that data unwittingly via the billboards and ads and sound bites and such that fill our eyes and ears. Computers take it in via the "trail of digital exhaust" that we leave behind: GPS positions, phone calls, texts, web histories and so forth. Smolan and Erwitt tell the stories of some of this data with, for instance, a medical/genetic profile of a young Afghani-American woman whose DNA indicates such probabilities as "less than 2 percent chance of developing Parkinson's disease"; a sidebar by ubiquitous nerd A.J. Jacobs, an adherent of the self-tracked (as opposed, one might think, to the self-examined) life; and, of course, the inhuman side of the question in the matter of drones, a question that has lately been exercising Rand Paul--drones being controlled by humans, after all, whence their inclusion here. Smolan and Erwitt don't seem to have a specific political program, but they tend to the data-is-good side of the argument, or, perhaps better, the data-is-good-if-put-to-good-uses school. Those good uses are plenty, from maximizing planting seasons and human fertility cycles to predicting bad weather to figuring the makings of the universe. Still, one wants to see the human face of, say, a sneering Dick Cheney targeting some opponent--for, as the authors conclude, "Data is the new oil." Not for the technophobic or number-averse, but for the rest of the audience, an often fascinating look at the quantification of us all.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781454908272
  • Publisher: Against All Odds Productions
  • Publication date: 11/20/2012
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 111,932
  • Product dimensions: 11.10 (w) x 14.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Rick Smolan, a former Time, Life, and National Geographic photographer, is best known as the creator of the Day in the Life book series.
Called “One of the 25 Coolest Companies in America” by Fortune, at Against All Odds Smolan and his partner, Jennifer Erwitt, orchestrate global photography projects that combine creative storytelling with state-of-the-art technology. Many of their books have been New York Times bestsellers and have been featured on the covers of Time, Newsweek, Fortune and USA Today.  Their projects often appear on television programs including the Today show, Good Morning America, ABC Nightline, ABC 20/20, and CNN's Situation Room. Their projects include America at Home, Blue Planet Run, The Obama Time Capsule, America 24/7, One Digital Day, 24 Hours in Cyberspace, Passage to Vietnam, The Power to Heal, and From Alice to Ocean. To learn more, visit
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2013

    Great images, interesting stories and well worth having in the l

    Great images, interesting stories and well worth having in the living room.

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