Skip to content

Data as the new basis for science?

Sergy Brin (co-founder of Google) is at risk of developing Parkinson’s. But he’s not convinced that traditional research methods can provide a cure in a suitable timeline. What do you do when you have an algorithmic world-view and the economic resources to enact that view? Well, you change the premise of science: “Can a model fueled by data sets and computational power compete with the gold standard of research?…In computer science, the process of mining such large data sets for useful associations is known as a market-basket analysis…given the right algorithms, meaningful associations can be drawn from all sorts of unconventional baskets—”student enrollment in classes, word occurrence in text documents, users’ visits of Web pages, and many more.”
The focus of data-driven science is on patterns rather than hypothesis…and the shorter discovery cycle a pattern/data view affords in contrast with the multi-year traditional science model.

One Comment

  1. Nicola wrote:

    Love or hate Google, this is an amazing idea and what they have done so far. I couldn’t quite work out from the article and having looked at the 23and me site, how / where they are publishing results – they are using traditional methods, presentation at meetings – f2f conferences? Sergey Brin’s blog has about 2 posts per year or if they are doing through pD online research facilitated by MJFF (think so?) then that is interesting, its more open and public than before. I wonder how and who decides which patterns are irrelevant or relevant in terms of environmental factors, exercise routines etc

    Saturday, June 26, 2010 at 12:27 am | Permalink