INSIGHT: What role does artificial intelligence play in Big Data?
- 19 June, 2015 03:40
What are the links between artificial intelligence and Big Data? And how can understanding the relationship between these two concepts help businesses?
The adoption of Big Data is growing rapidly among New Zealand businesses.
According to a recent survey by EMC, 69 percent of IT decision makers in New Zealand believe data analytics are important to their current business strategy. A further 41 per cent already incorporate Big Data in everyday business decisions.
While it is good to see New Zealand companies use Big Data to improve their decisions making, the real potential of Big Data canalytics will come from applying artificial intelligence to how they gather business intelligence.
Applying AI to Big Data analytics can help businesses detect correlations between factors humans can’t perceive. It can also enable organisations to deal with the speed at which information is changing in the business world today.
Analysing large data sets requires developing and applying complex algorithms. To date, humans had to come up with hypotheses, identify relevant variables and then write algorithms to test these theories against the information collected in big data sets.
However, as data sets become larger, the ability for humans to make sense of it all becomes more difficult, and limits the insights that can be gained from all this information.
AI allows organisations to add a level of intelligence to their Big Data analytics to understand complex issues quicker than humans are able to. It can also serve to fill the gap left by not having enough human data analysts available.
Uncover novel insights
In addition, using humans to develop and test hypotheses is limited by the ideas people can come up with, which are shaped by their established perceptions.
AI is not bound by these limitations, so is able to discover patterns and correlations between variables humans would not even have thought of or are unable to perceive.
Therefore, AI can reveal insights that would otherwise have been missed and which can lead to novel solutions to existing problems or even uncover issues we did not know existed.
A great example of what is possible when we apply AI algorithms to Big Data analytics comes from the health sector.
Using AI-powered Big Data analytics, researchers in Canada have been able to identify patterns in the vital signs of premature babies that can be used in the early detection life-threatening infections.
By analysing data from heart monitors they discovered that when there’s an infection, a baby’s heart rate variability decreases significantly.
With this knowledge doctors can now detect early warning signs of infection in premature babies up to 24 hours before they would have otherwise shown any other symptoms.
Although the insights businesses could gather from AI-powered analysis may not be lifesaving, they can still be crucial in helping business make better, more informed decisions.
By detecting correlations between previously unrelated factors, AI can help organisations discover problems or opportunities they would otherwise have missed, and allow them to respond to those faster.
Imagine what could mean for your business…
By Bruce Aylward, CEO, Psoda