This high-tech romp reveals exactly what data is and how it is captured, stored, shared, and made sense of. Meet Dr. Hannah Fry who sees data as the essential bridge between two universes; Claude Shannon, who devised a way to digitize all information and launched the “information age”; and Donald Davies, the inventor of packet switching. Along the way the film reveals the connection between Scrabble scores and online movie streaming, explains why a herd of Wiltshire dairy cows are wearing pedometers, and uncovers the remarkable network map of Wikipedia.
Structure of Data (06:06)
Hannah Fry began loving data when she realized there was a deeper mathematical structure. Professor of Philosophy Luciano Floridi explains that since the digital world is replacing the analog world, every bit of a person's life can be digitized and analyzed.
Beginnings of Data Analysis (06:33)
The Industrial Revolution changed the landscape of daily life; William Farr was the first to manage data on an industrial scale. Aileen Fyfe describes Farr’s personal and professional history. The control of infectious disease, particularly cholera, became important to Farr.
Twentieth Century Data (10:04)
Once census ledgers and other data became unmanageable, people began counting data as holes in punch cards—contributing to the information revolution. The LEO led to data calculations being routinely mechanized. The binary language, first developed by Claude Shannon, led to the theoretical framework for the data revolution.
Claude Shannon's Work (04:07)
Fry describes Shannon's entropy through terms of the English alphabet; almost everything can be encoded and then made into data.
Historical Data Analysis (05:15)
Simon Dedeo explains that data signals are a reduction of uncertainty. Tim Hitchcock discusses the digitization of London’s Old Bailey documents to analyze the language and speech of people from all classes in the region.
History of Data Sharing (07:37)
Computers initiated the beginning of code storage and data analysis, but the process of sharing data took longer to develop. Alan Turing and Donald Davies worked together on creating the world’s first automated computer engine. Davies developed packet switching which was later adopted by those who built the internet.
Cities of the Future (06:39)
The city of Bristol is experimenting with the idea of being a data-driven city; Dave Cliff describes the set-up of the programmable city. Stephen Hilton explains how the technology of driverless cars may shape the city’s future; a data-centric city presents many ethical and technological challenges.
Future of Healthcare (08:22)
Floridi discusses difficulties that accompany transparency technology. The Sphere Project was created to help the aging population with healthcare needs. Temperature and humidity sensors, and cameras continually monitor the inhabitants' needs.
Technology and the Future (01:48)
The mixing of artificial intelligence and big data can make people anxious, but the core challenge is trying to understand patterns and only humans can find meaning in patterns. Floridi asserts technology should shape the future but not human lives.
Credits: The Joy of Data (00:31)
Grade: 6-8, 9-12
Joy of Data (DVD)
Time: 60 Minutes