The Future of Everything

The crucial role of data compression

Episode Summary

The total size of digital file types is expanding exponentially. So are the challenges of storing them. An electrical engineer discusses new approaches to tackling the issue.

Episode Notes

It may not be immediately obvious, but there are huge financial, environmental and security costs associated with storing all the selfies, videos, documents and other digital assets the world is generating. One way to address this issue is by developing better compression algorithms that can represent the data more succinctly. Another is by creating new ways of storing the information itself, including, potentially, within biological molecules.

In this episode of Stanford Engineering’s The Future of Everything, Stanford electrical engineer Tsachy Weissman discusses with host Professor Russ Altman the challenges associated with storing our ever-growing mountains of digital data – and how they can be addressed. Listen and subscribe here.