Could Big Data Turn 'Minority Report' Into Reality?

The combination of advances in big data and the Internet of Things could soon transport society into the science fiction realm seen in the film "Minority Report," according to Science Channel host and data scientist Deborah Berebichez.

Berebichez spoke to a crowd at the MITX Data Summit in Boston, where she broke down big data by global numbers.

There are an estimated 7,426,098,560 people on Earth, Berebichez said, and "for every person on the planet, on average, there are about 1 billion transistors."

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"That has consequences," she said. "We're in the beginning of the Internet of Things, and already there are 1 trillion connected devices."

Sensors collect data that measures everything from light and temperature to people's movements.

"Now that processing is super cheap and we can put sensors pretty much anywhere, in anything," Berebichez said, "you'll be surprised the things that people come up with -- everything is connected. And that obviously has consequences in terms of security and privacy."

With petabytes of data collected from these devices, it's important to use advanced analytics to extract real value from "all of the noise," rather than end up in a targeted ad blitz or Big Brother scenario like one might see in Hollywood films.