How will we store data 100 years from now?

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I'm trying to steer myself into a season of reading (film is my favorite medium right now), so I grabbed a copy of Sapiens per Bill Gates's recommendation. The chapter I'm on just described how we moved from storing data in our brains into various writing systems. What's new in the world of data storage? Where do you think we will be 100 years from now?

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Probably in ways that model the natural world more effectively. Relational and all the ways we store data now are probably more practical than ideal. I think we'll get to places where we might have "neural" in the title.

I'd also say that we need to get better about knowing when it's feasible to forget data. I think that's probably already the biggest existential problem in data gathering and it's only going to get way worse.

 

100 years ago data was stored on paper, so 100 years from now who knows what will be possible? As @ben said, there's a fair chance it'll be "neural" but also "quantum" maybe? But that could be considered legacy by then?

 

Or we could all be long gone because we burnt all the fossil fuel storing data in blockchains?

 

As long as everyone understands how blockchains work and where to actually use them we should be fine... But they still haven't.

 

There is interesting work being done to encode data to DNA. All of the world's data could be stored in the back of 2 pickup trucks in DNA form. However, it is not really a tech that I expect will take off any time soon. Encoding to DNA is painfully slow, and the process of reading data from DNA also destroys it, last I checked.

 

I cannot believe what we have gone through during these last 10 years. Who knows how much the concepts we are working on now will completely shift.

Some random thoughts:

And I might be very pesimistic over what the human can achieve in term of discoveries in this area...!

 

My money is on us humans figuring out some method of multidimensional encoding in higher dimensions thus infinitely expanding our ability to store retain and retrieve information. Quantum computing is pretty likely to help here too, with things like topological qbits etc.

 

As we get better and faster at sequencing DNA (and as the machines that do it get smaller and more affordable), I'd be willing to bet we see more and more data stored within DNA. In 2019, scientists were able to encode an entire compressed download of Wikipedia onto synthetic DNA.

Check out this talk: ted.com/talks/dina_zielinski_how_w...

 

In 100 years data won't be stored it will rebuilt from bits and bobs with such incredible error correction, that we'll never know the difference. Everyone's data will be somehow be layered ontop of each other such that only your desire to have your data, can extract and recombine it, to make it yours and unique again. There will be a single "attribute" that will belong to all things stored, in all places with that attribute. You will carry around a profoundly small amount of data which can be used to generate all other data. That's my guess <.<

 

The answer is: on paper.
There is no chance that today's datacenters will still be there in 100 years in a world without petrol.

 
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⛵️ Building ambulatory healthcare software in beautiful, historic Annapolis, Maryland. Brass-bander. ADHD Avenger. Lover of giant hounds. Believer in the impossible.

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