Doug Fisher, senior vice-president and general manager, Software and Services Group, says "It may not always be clear where the future of technology is going, but it is clear where the future of technology begins – and it begins with data.
"Data in this century is like oil was in the last century. There's one big difference. Oil is a finite resource, and data is the ultimate renewable resource.
"It's affecting every aspect of our lives, how we live, play and communicate. Data is massive."
To give an idea of how massive, Fisher states there will 44 zettabytes — 10 to the power of 21 bytes — of data in the digital universe by 2020. This will grow to 180 zettabytes by 2025. The big driver, Fisher says, is the connection of 20 to 30 billion smart "things" by 2020.
"Data is not static, but in motion through the devices to the cloud and it's driving business transformation. Industries across the globe are being impacted and are transforming. Financial services use it to increase and improve modelling and financial algorithms to deliver better value to their customers," Fisher said. "How many of you have been called by a credit card company to say there's unusual activity? They're using machine learning to investigate what's going on."
Intel has taken a leadership role in this, Fisher said. "We wanted to commission a study on what happens when we move to an autonomous driving community."
It turns out, according to Intel's research, there will be 250 million hours of idle time because people don't have to drive. Instead, passengers will use social media or do other activities, all of which consume data, all of which generate data.
This will create an economy known as the "passenger economy", Fisher said. "We see it growing to US$7 trillion by 2050.
"Imagine the services to be delivered to that passenger economy."
Yet, Fisher stated, technology has to transition in order to support that mass amount of data in motion. A total of 180 zettabytes of data is coming, he said, "so we have to improve bandwidth".
In the very near future, 70% of the world's mobile data traffic will be video, Intel's research finds. "This means in one second of time there will be 100 minutes of video across the network."