The world has at least 295 exabytes of data capacity, researchers have claimed.
That total includes the amount we can "store, communicate and compute" across digital and analog devices, the researchers from University of Southern California said. One exabyte is a billion gigabytes.
By 2007, 94% of our information was in digital form. In that year, 1.9 zettabytes of data was sent through broadcast technology, while two-way communications systems - such as mobile phones - sent 65 exabytes.
“These numbers are impressive, but still minuscule compared to the order of magnitude at which nature handles information,” said Martin Hilbert, the report's lead author. “Compared to nature, we are but humble apprentices."
"However, while the natural world is mind-boggling in its size, it remains fairly constant. In contrast, the world’s technological information-processing capacities are growing at exponential rates.”
Between 1986 and 2007, global computing capacity grew by 58% annually, the report said.
This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk