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BBC’s Click Blockchain Documentary

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:46 PM
Matt Meador
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:46 PM


What do you think big data is?  BBC’s technology news presentation – Click , brought its beauty and use to us in 25 minutes of film time. Those involved with the interviewing or creation of the presentation walked through London’s prestigious Imperial College and the Somerset House using the Big Bang Data exhibition as a platform to expose big data in a way that is visually appealing, but also largely innovative. Exposure to data collection included data tracking from health apparatuses to creative artistic masterpieces. The most regarded segment, and lengthiest, is Click interviewer, Jamie Bartlett, highlighting the beauty of financial transactions through Bitcoin’s blockchain as a tool to engage the idea of decentralization and data collection.

The documentary can be viewed here  [for UK readers. Readers outside UK can view the documentary by using a VPN].

A reasonable explanation of blockchain data was summed up by Bartlett, “no one person is in charge of the data- it is centrally framed in a chain, but verification comes from a series of users around the world to complete the process.” It is a completely decentralized world that blockchain experts agree should be according to Click. The emphasis that Click uses through Bitcoin and blockchain experts,  Jack Peterson, Founder of Auger, Gavin Wood, CTO of Ethereum and Vitalik Buterin, Founder of Ethereum, concretes the notion that blockchain data could potentially break up the bureaucratic tendencies that have gripped larger governments financial districts.

From London’s Imperial College Data Science Institute  , Click uses Professor William Knottenbelt to explain financial transactions through data walls, a series of monitors and screens that tracks data of financial transactions. For every transaction that occurs it is shown on screens that make up the data wall.  Other artistic ventures, like the “Black Shoals” exhibit, recreate a galaxy with thousands of stars representing the flow of capital around the world and every time a star twinkles it represents a trade on the stock exchange- in real time. Creators Joshua Portway and Lise Autogena have merged the cosmos into a configuration of beautiful intricacies that make up our financial markets. This real-time feature serves as a tantalizing observation based on the Black-Scholes-Merton Model of derivative investments.

The Spire Device

Bitcoin and the blockchain is the segway into relating with big data collection. Bitcoin and the blockchain are both areas being widely applied in today’s market, but Click identifies that there are also other applications of data collection and tracking in the show. Click’s Lara Lewington investigates the Spire device, a tracking device that senses body activity and mood, and incorporates algorithms, inclusive to the device, that offer a variety of options to get user’s back to normal. Tracking of an individual’s vitals results in pop-up applications for physical ailments and emotional treatment, but the overall goal is get the body back to a natural state. There are limitations to using this technology and this is notated. For the Spire device, storage and tracking of data about the individual throughout the day has limited space on the device itself, but through consistent downloading, or syncing, tracking can be an unlimited affair and it serves a vital role in the life of the individual, according to Click.

Click investigates London’s Somerset House  currently running the Big Bang Data exhibit  until February of 2016. The use of data collection by way of crowd responses for a variety purposes has been used to recreate some prestigious and unique works of art. It creates an innovative outlook about the use of data and the applications that it can be used for.  One such innovation is displayed in the Big Bang Data exhibit data tracking.

This data tracking innovation is so advanced that DNA data is be pulled off of items that have been discarded in the trash, much like, cigarettes or chewing gum and then whole recreations of human features can be presented, and they are displayed as art.  Click’s focus on data through applications and systems like the blockchain are inspirational to other data collection areas, such as city planners and politicians.

Click enhances the notion that there is a need for futuristic outlining and thinking. Data is used more precisely in solving algorithms and tracking, or more succinctly- it is being used in a targeted way. What will it be like in the future? Finishing out the segment focuses on London in 2036 by asking patrons what they think London will look like in 2036. Through analysis of the collection of responses the system will infer what type of community you will most likely be living in, working and playing in. This documentary opens up plenty of doors for further thought on data collection and the uses that it will be most advantageous to human lives.

Image from Shutterstock.