DNA sequencing was still very expensive and rare at the time, but Mangubat and her cofounders at Spiral Genetics anticipated a day when the cost of sequencing a genome would drop enough to allow scientists to sequence hundreds of thousands or millions of human genomes, whole populations, and compare them to learn about disease. To analyze such a volume of data, with the technology of the time, would have been prohibitively difficult and time-consuming, Mangubat predicted. Her company aimed to leverage cloud-based computing to crunch those huge gene sets, taking a fraction of the time.
As platforms like Google and Alexa work to provide instant answers to random questions, Wikidata will be one of the key architectures that link the world's information together. The system still results in errors sometimes—that's why Siri briefly thought Bulgaria's national anthem was “Despacito”—but its prospective scale is already more ambitious than Wikipedia's. There are subprojects aiming to itemize every sitting politician on earth, every painting in every public collection worldwide, and every gene in the human genome into searchable, adaptable, and machine-readable form.