‘The Joy of Data’ reveals pioneers of our information age

“The Joy of Data” is a witty and mind-expanding exploration of our world with mathematician Dr. Hannah Fry that airs Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 9:30 p.m.

This high-tech romp reveals what data is and how it is captured, stored, shared and made sense of. Fry tells the story of the engineers of the data age, people most of us have never heard of, despite the fact they brought about a technological and philosophical revolution.

Dr. Fry revels in spotting patterns. She sees data as the essential bridge between two universes: the tangible, messy world that we see, and the clean, ordered world of math, where everything can be captured beautifully with equations.

The film reveals a connection between Scrabble scores and online movie streaming, explains why a herd of dairy cows are wearing pedometers, uncovers the network map of Wikipedia and explores the mystery link between marmalade and the boy band One Direction.

But what about the future? Should we be worried by the pace of change and how our own data could be used? Ultimately, Fry concludes, data empowers all of us. We must have machines at our side if we’re to find patterns in the modern-day data deluge.

Fry believes, regardless of AI and machine learning, it will always take humans to find the meaning in them.

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