Since 2012, the production of digital data by machines has surpassed that of humans. For example, a plane on a Paris-New York flight generates 500 GB of data via its sensors, five times the daily volume of data on Twitter. This increasing "digitization" raises the question: what will happen when we generate more data than we can store?
It's important to note that this massive increase in data is not coming from the millions of new Internet users around the world, but rather from the West. For example, Africa, which represents 17% of the world's population, generates just 1% of the world's digital data.
“Because to master data is to master power. The Chinese Communist Party believes that the struggle to control information will determine the outcome of future conflicts.”
This growth is outstripping the energy efficiency of digital equipment, networks and data centers. Most of the growth in data flows is attributable to the consumption of services provided by GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook (Meta), Amazon and Microsoft). However, only 32% of this data is actually used. The rest is called "dark data, “ stored on servers that consume electricity without ever being reused. And electricity consumption means CO2 emissions. So our use of digital technology isn't as green as we might think. In addition to the current energy context, data storage capacities pose a problem, as they are not keeping pace with the influx of data.
In conclusion, among all these issues, let's not forget geopolitics. Because mastering data means mastering power. The Chinese Communist Party believes that the struggle for control over information will determine the outcome of future conflicts.Beijing has understood perfectly well that, in the 21st century, digital entertainment is nothing more than the continuation of war, by other means. And let's beware: the "Middle Kingdom" is far from alone in its thinking.