An article on data management appeared in IEEE Computer recently (Data Management, IEEE Computers, 2017). The author, Lomet, D.B, talks about the cost of storage, and correspondingly the capacity now available at our fingertips, and posts the question of what the ‘world of data will look like in 50 years.
Maybe 30 years ago, the boxes of IEEE Transactions on Computers hard copy sat in a storage shed. If I had my choice, I would probably display my collection in bookshelves at home or in an office. Yes, you have to go to the University library to get to read one of the issues, and yes, there was not the website IEEE Xplore at that time. The ease of data ‘acquisition’ coupled with data push – those notifications that so many of us are tickled to get, with our mobile devices gives reason that we want terabyte of storage. How often would we go back and look at that Whatsapp message 3 years ago? (Is there a way to do that – to give a date and Whatsapp will provide you the messages of that date? in app? at some website?). Since we do not have books and magazines (how many printed magazines still survive in the digital world?) to adorn our bookcases in our study, could we have some data management tool that is designed like a book that we can shelf, but controlled by our mobile device (best yet, selectable by voice and activated by voice via Siri or Alexa), that my Whatsapp messages of that date will be played out for my guests to enjoy, laughing at what a silly conversational topic then, and how one of the messengers was on target with a silly response. Would that be nice? This could extend to each vacation trip that you took, and a playback is auto by that ‘data book’ on your shelf.