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With the rapid emergence of digital devices, an unstoppable, invisible force is changing human lives in ways from the microscopic to the gargantuan: Big Data, a word that was barely used a few years ago but now governs the day for many of us from the moment we awaken to the extinguishing of the final late-evening light bulb.

‘The Human Face of Big Data’ explores how the visualization of data streaming in from satellites, billions of sensors and smart phones is beginning to enable us, as individuals and collectively as a society, to sense, measure and understand aspects of our existence in ways never possible before.

The premise of the documentary is that all of our devices are creating a planetary nervous system and that the massive gathering and analyzing of data in real time is suddenly allowing us address to some of humanity biggest challenges, including pollution, world hunger, and illness.

But as Edward Snowden and the release of the NSA documents has shown, the accessibility of all this data comes at a steep price. Each of us is now leaving an indelible digital trail that will remain forever in our wake.

Narrated by Joel Mchale, the promise and peril in the growing revolution around big data is the playing field of a new documentary by Sandy Smolan, who’s feature “Rachel River” was nominated for The Grand Jury Prize at The Sundance Film Festival and won the Jury Prize for Best Cinematography and a special Jury Prize for Acting.

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