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Social sharing, mobile computing and the Internet of Things have made data compression a part of our every day lives. The process of compressing data is put to work every time a photo or video is shared across social media or a weather sensor reports a temperature change.

More importantly, data compression is involved anytime information from the physical world becomes digital, or information in the digital world needs to get somewhere quickly and cheaply. Advances in data compression have made it possible for us to create, capture and share data today, but this data is growing at an incredibly rapid pace, and without further breakthroughs in data compression, digital progress will slow. For example, a breakthrough in the field of data compression could lead to higher bandwidth, better quality videos and more cost effective and efficient methods for manipulating and storing data.

IBM recently partnered with Stanford University to convene the first-of-its-kind Stanford Compression Forum, which was partially inspired by the critically acclaimed HBO series, Silicon Valley.Now in it’s second season, Silicon Valley, is about the founders of fictional startup Pied Piper, creators of a multi-platform technology based on a fictional compression algorithm. IBM Researcher Vinith Misra, along with Dr. Tsachy Weissman, a Stanford professor and compression expert, have served as technical experts of the show since season one, teaming up with the producers to create a technical backbone for the
show, complete with fictional compression algorithms, performance metrics, and mathematical models.

The IBM and Stanford data compression forum brought together data compression leaders from industry, academia and government for a full-day workshop and discussion about the future of data compression. Check out this video to hear Vinith Misra, Dr. Tsachy Weissman, and other experts to discuss what they think the future of data compression will look like and why it matters. - Smarter Planet


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