12.0236 Lesk at King's London

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Wed, 30 Sep 1998 22:57:06 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 12, No. 236.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 22:49:29 +0100
From: Willard McCarty <Willard.McCarty@kcl.ac.uk>
Subject: Lesk at King's London


Seminar in Humanities Computing
Centre for Computing in the Humanities
King's College London

How Much Information Is There in the World?

Michael Lesk

Tuesday, 13 October 1998
room 17B
King's College London

The amount of information in the world seems to be a few thousand
petabytes, adding up over everything written, spoken over the phone,
recorded, photographed or filmed (except amateur video). In a few
years there will be so much disk space that the average piece of
computer information will never be seen by a human being.

So the most important research topics will be summarization and filtering;
the scarce resource will be attention, not information. There will be
impacts on privacy (what if every public-space TV camera record is saved
forever), on science (perhaps more data mining and simulation, less actual
experimenting), on book storage (libraries may be worth less, but
librarians may be worth more), and on culture (will we have more or
less diversity of content).

In centuries past people reacted to information overload by inventing
indexes and catalogs. How should we react now?

Dr. Lesk is Division Director, Information and Intelligent Systems, National
Science Foundation (U.S.), and Visiting Professor in Computer Science,
University College London. Currently his interests range over digital
libraries, library preservation, information retrieval and networks. His
most recent book is Practical Digital Libraries: Books, Bytes and Bucks
(Morgan Kaufmann, July 1997).

Equiries to the Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College
London, 0171 873-2784.

Dr. Willard McCarty
Senior Lecturer, Centre for Computing in the Humanities
King's College London / Strand / London WC2R 2LS
+44 (0)171 873 2784 voice; 873 5081 fax
maui gratia

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