AI and Big Data: The Two Major Components of Our Digital Future
If you follow technology news in any way, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that AI and Big Data are trending topics. Both technologies are certainly the driving force behind a variety of tech innovations. In the following paragraphs, we’ll explore exactly what AI and big data are, how they work together, and the ways in which both will disrupt the digital future.
Artificial intelligence is the technology that allows computers to do things that were once only the domain of humans. For example, computers have always been able to calculate. With AI, they can learn and draw conclusions.
AI can be roughly divided into two disciplines. These are machine learning and deep learning. Machine learning involves the creation of computers and software that can learn from data, and then apply that knowledge to new data sets. Deep learning creates neural networks, designed to resemble the human brain. Deep learning is used to process data such is sounds and images.
Big Data Defined
AI doesn’t work without data. It consumes data in order to learn. Big data refers to the massive sets of data that are now available for this purpose. These sets of data can be analyzed by machines. This can reveal patterns and trends, and facilitate making future predictions. These data sets come from a variety of sources. Some of these are publicly available. Others are privately held and access to these must be purchased.
Big Data And AI Combined
AI isn’t new. It’s existed both as a concept and in action for decades. Until recently though, the lack of data stymied the growth of AI. Today, things have changed. There is simply an enormous amount of data available of all types. This includes images, audio, and text data.
Think about it. Every time you fill out a form, or even make a decision that’s recorded by a computer that information is potentially added to a big data set. Data can also come from the IOT, internet based transactions, and other sources.
Where AI And Data Are Causing Disruption
There are several industries where AI is or is poised to create some serious disruption. Here are a few of them.
E-commerce and Retail
Most online shoppers have already experienced AI technology in the form of chatbots, personalized shopping experiences, and curated product recommendations. However, AI also has the potential to streamline operations as well. For example, AI can be used to predict upcoming customer orders for the next season. This will give retailers the ability to better engage in inventory planning and purchasing, and to predict and control costs.
Digital Marketing And Content
Digital marketing is most effective when content is properly curated and targeted to the right audience. AI can help marketers personalize and target email content, identify topics to use, and of course to analyze the results of content marketing campaigns.
According to Trust My Paper, AI may also play an important role in the area of content creation as well. It will improve access to necessary data, and may even be used to facilitate the machine written articles on a variety of topics. In fact, the Associated Press is using AI in its content creation process.
Both partially and fully autonomous vehicles won’t be the norm in the immediate future, but the industry is slowly but surely trending in that direction. Artificial intelligence is the technology driving this trend that will disrupt the transportation space. The software controlling autonomous vehicle features works with and controls radar systems, lane control features, accident avoidance features, cameras, GPS, and more. Much of this technology is AI based, and relies heavily on data to function.
Industry And Manufacturing
One of the key areas where AI will spur the most growth and innovation is automation in the manufacturing space. One of the most visible areas where this is happening is robotics. In fact, robots are transforming the manufacturing industry like never before.
In a sense, AI provides the brain, and robotics provides the brawn. Thanks to new developments in technology in both areas, there is increased ability to develop robots that can perform tasks that were impossible just a few years ago. These new robots are no longer limited to repetitive tasks. Instead, they can move throughout warehouses and production lines interacting with and collaborating with people.
In addition to its place on the shop floor, AI also plays an increasingly important role in research and development. AI software can be used for product testing, including the creation of simulations. It can also be used to predict maintenance needs and costs.
Smart Home Assistants
While text based search will likely never go away completely, it’s impossible to deny the popularity of voice search. Thanks to AI, there have been significant improvements in natural language processing and voice recognition. As a result, smart home speakers and other digital assistants are becoming more accurate in their ability to understand commands and queries.
AI is an important technology behind several important healthcare developments. These include virtual diagnostics, improved patient logistics, even robotic surgery. AI will continue to lead to better healthcare outcomes, and will improve costs in the long run.
Final Thoughts: The Global Economic Impact of AI
According to a Mckinsey study, there are two major impacts that AI will likely have on the global economy. The first is that artificial intelligence has the potential to play a significant role in the economy. The second is that AI may contribute to widening gaps that already exist between nations, workers, and businesses.
The piece predicts that by 2030, AI could be responsible for 13 trillion dollars in global economic activity. However, initial growth could be slowed as a result of the cost of developing and adopting these technologies.
Further, current disparities between nations are likely to be further deepened. Countries like China that have a strong economic plan and infrastructure for AI development are likely to reap economic benefits. However, they are likely to be the exception to the rule among developing nations that will struggle to develop this technology, and attract the right talent.
Likewise, companies that are able to adopt AI technologies will be ahead of the curve. Those that are not able to, or that choose not to may have difficulties catching up.
AI And Big Data: Two Major Parts of The Digital Future was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.