- Tram Ho
Right now, metals and fossil fuels are powering server farms and internet infrastructure structures to turn these digital texts into information and data. According to the press release that Melvin Vopson, a theoretical physicist and lecturer at the University of Portsmouth, UK, all these bits of data will be more than the number of atoms present on Earth. .
According to Vopson, the blue planet will then turn into a giant data sphere.
Not only is Vopson talking about how much natural resources digital technology consumes, but he calculates the number of computer bits we are making more and more. “ Indeed, the growth of digital information cannot be stopped. According to IBM and many other big data researchers, 90% of the world’s data today was created within the last 10 years. In a way, the Covid-19 epidemic has accelerated the creation of new digital content in an unprecedented way , ”Vopson wrote.
By experiment, Vopson wants to prove that the data bits have mass, and he predicts they will be half the mass of the Earth in 225 years.
We can think of dark futures that exist only in fictional movies, like when we have to peel the Earth as a server or burn what’s left to keep the infrastructure alive. computers are getting bigger and bigger. But what Vopson has raised is far more distant: in 2019, he hypothesizes that information is the fifth form of matter.
” In fact, I mean ‘information’ is not merely the fifth form of matter besides solid, liquid, gas and plasma, but can also become the dominant form of matter in the Universe ,” says Vopson. write.
This idea builds on the foundation built by Einstein and many later scientists. In many years of research, many people have tried to calculate the volume of information.
According to Vopson’s calculations, the total mass of all the information we generate in a year is less than a grain of rice, probably equivalent to the weight of an E. coli. But their potential for growth worries theoretical physicists: in the case of a 50% annual growth in digital information, half of the mass of the planet we live on will be electronic bits in just 225 years. .
“ In this case, assuming that the energy limit is solved, we can imagine the future where most things are simulated by computers and electronic bits and code will dominate. style, ”concluded Vopson’s research.
Will the act of creating data soon “digitize” the Earth?
One noteworthy point: the IDC International Data Group estimate, which uses different and newer data than what Vopson relies on for its report, the amount of data generated annually is higher than what Vopson says Besides, the annual growth rate of data over the next few years will fall to about 26%. That is, Vopson’s prediction of “2245” also has some basis for reality.
However, David Wolpert, a physicist at the Santa Fe Research Institute is not too concerned about the “information disaster” that Vopson pointed out. ” This study shows some very interesting problems with physics, but since the time scale is in centuries, we need to worry about the economic [rather than the physics] aspect ,” Wolpert said.
Physicist from the Santa Fe Institute gives an example like this:
“ In keeping with Vopson’s research spirit, I give an example of the global women’s lingerie market growing at a rate of approximately 9.4%… Extrapolating the plan to travel 500 years to the future, we has a huge value of 3 USD x 10 ^ 19, which is sure to cause the world economy to collapse (and most likely ecosystems too). In conclusion, it is clear that humanity will have to receive the catastrophe of underwear .
Although Vopson’s idea of treating information as matter has not been tested experimentally, we still have to scratch our chin, considering the rapidly growing digital society, in addition to its effects. to the environment, the ecosystem, and the Earth itself.
Source : Genk