Keynote talk given at the Wolfram Data Summit in Washington, DC on Thursday, September 9, 2010.
Well, I should start off by admitting one thing.
This Data Summit was my idea.
And I have to say that the #1 reason I wanted to have it was so I could have a chance to meet you all.
So… thanks for coming, and I hope I will have a chance to meet you-all!
Well, I’ve been a collector and an enthusiast of systematic data for about as long as I can remember.
But in the last few years, I’ve launched into what one might think of as the ultimate extreme data project.
It’s actually something I’ve been thinking about since I was a kid.
The idea is: take all the systematic knowledge—and data—that our civilization has accumulated, and somehow make it computable.
Make it so that given any specific question one wants to ask, one can just compute the answer on the basis of that knowledge and data.
Well, every so often I’d think about this again. And it’d always just seem too big and too difficult. And like it was at least decades in the future.
But two things happened in my life. Continue reading