“At nearly 500 billion gigabytes the Digital Universe, if converted to pages of text and assembled into books, would stretch to Pluto and back 10 times. At the current growth rate, that stack of books is growing 20 times faster than the fastest rocket ever made.
The Digital Universe is also messy. Because the image bits account for so much of the total, more than 95% of the data in the Digital Universe is unstructured meaning its intrinsic meaning cannot be easily divined by simple computer programs. ……. The Semantic Web project is promising to develop the tools to help us do that in the future. “
“The last time we saw a confluence of two such powerful trends – an explosion of new and potentially disruptive technologies and an economic crisis of this magnitude- was before the computer was invented. The challenge of a lifetime is also the chance of a lifetime.”
See the full report at Digital Universe – Multimedia presentation by EMC/IDC