Dataism – the 21st Century Religion

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Today the universe’s pulse is data flow; the value of humans or an enterprise is assessed by its ability to contribute to data processing and reaping fruits out of it. It is believed that Dataism came into existence with the amalgamation of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species and Alan Turing’s Turing Machine.  It puts both together, claiming mathematical rules are applicable to both bio-chemical and electronic algorithms.  As per the concept of Dataism, stock exchange data, flu virus, fifth symphony and genetic pool are patterns which can be analysed with similar tools and techniques. The idea seems as an eccentric far-flung notion, but it has permeated significantly into Homo sapiens lives. This is ground breaking, providing all experts a standard language, building bridges contrary to rifts and opportunity to extract insights spanning across various domain frontiers.

As per the teachings and rituals of Dataism, Homo sapiens experiences are not sacrosanct and we are not an apex of creation, rather humans have emerged as a means to create internet of all things, which will propagate from earth to the complete galaxy and may be universe. If this happens, the scale to which data will be processed is expected to be cosmic, similar to creating God like system. This system is expected to be omnipresent and may control everything, and Homo sapiens’ merger with it is inevitable. It is a reminiscent of a typical traditional religion.

If it will emerge as a religion, what will be its commandments? (I) Maximising dataflow usage by Dataist with increased connections of medias, generating and consuming cosmic scale of information (II) To build linkages of systems with everything, with a single motto that does not leave anything which is not connected with the great web of life; it would be a sin to limit the dataflow (III) Providing freedom to information and many more, left to the imaginations of readers.

The revolution of data resulting in dataism may take a few decades, may be a century. If we go back in history, humans kept on believing in God, debating on ‘value of humans’ as sacred entity created by God for divine purposes. Few centuries later, it was mentioned that humans are sacred but without Gods. Today followers of dataism are trying to preach, internet of all things is sacred, as created by humans only. Eventually internet of all things may become sacred without human existence or dependence on them. This will be termed as a shift from homo-centric world to a data centric universe. Will it be another philosophical revolution, rather it may emerge as a pragmatic revolution. The core belief would be ‘organisms are algorithms’.

What is the origin of these algorithms? This is the mystery of Dataism, as according to some religions, humans are unable to understand God’s plan. Similarly, we cannot fathom the master algorithm of dataism. As of now, algorithms are developed by humans in team and each one knows its seed only, the master algorithm which will be the God of dataism may initially be designed by humans, than taking the course where no humans have ventured so far and no one will be able to follow.

No one can predict the future, as today’s technology is not deterministic, rise of AI and biotechnology is expected to transform the world but not with a single deterministic outcome. Hence, Dataism as a probable scenario, as outlined above should be considered as a possibility rather than a prophecy. Nobody knows which forces will dominate in 2050 or 2100, a truly exciting time ahead for Homo sapiens.

This blog is an inspiration from the author Yuval Noah Harari book ‘Homodeus’.

Join us at the 13th edition of Annual Information Security Summit for an interesting take on Dataism. Register now: https://aiss2018.dsci.in/

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