Amy Webb likes to say that “data is the new oil,” and the parallels between the two valuable commodities were on display last week as Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg tried to explain to Congress just what his social media company does with its users’ personal data. With so much data available about us — every time we use our Smartphones, every time we sign up for customer loyalty perks — what are the issues about data telling us about the information and tech industries’ futures?
To get some answers, WDET’s Sandra Svoboda spoke with quantitative futurist Amy Webb, who looks at data in the present to make predictions about the future. She’s the founder of the Future Today Institute, teaches at New York University, and authored the book “The Signals are Talking: Why Today’s Fringe is Tomorrow’s Mainstream,” which shares some of her research and methods about how to make sense of data and trends to make our lives better.
Webb was in Detroit last week as part of the Future of Information series, a collection of free quarterly conversations sponsored by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.