Is Data Alive?

#Data cycle

SymbioTech Data

It seems like an odd subject, especially with a made-up word!

I have been mulling about the evolution of data as a distinct entity and how it seems to be driving IT evolution. I started mapping out the discovery phase and all the interactions software developers have with data, and to be honest, the first map was a mess and it seemed it could go on forever! I refocused on the big picture items, and I had not seen or thought about the pattern that emerged.




I am pleased with the diagram and believe I got all the important stuff concise enough.

We could almost class our relationship with data as a Commensalism, data is not living so it is neither harmed nor benefits from our relationship. We define data, shape it, give it a place to live, and visualize it! We extract what resources we can from data, and it influences our world. This process has been running for thousands of years. Yesterday it was notches, symbols, and cave drawings, today it is binary, and tomorrow it will be superposition!

What I did not realise, is that data is almost driving itself through the influence is has on our world. There was no forcing the diagram into this cyclical representation it just naturally flowed into this shape.   

We use data to apply influence in our world – even simple bookkeeping or calendar reminders exert influence over us. The influence data has, is very powerful and it is powering the drive for more data, just take one look at machine learning.

Is it too far a stretch to think of data as more like an organism in a SymbioTech relationship with humans?

Leave a comment


This might be interesting!