Warnings from Professor Stephen Hawking this week about his belief that artificial intelligence (AI) could “outsmart us all” and that there is near certainty of a technological catastrophe, may sound more like a science fiction film than reality to some non-experts, however according to the Financial Times (FT) the pace of progression in AI is already gaining speed and policy makers should already be considering the social impact.
AI isn’t the only technological area gaining momentum, experts at the Analytics and Big Data Congress earlier this week said that keeping and storing big data is also going to get more difficult in the future. According to Robert Easton (Head of Google Cloud Platform UK&I, Google) data is only going to become harder to store in the future as the rate of change gets faster. “Today is the slowest rate of change we will ever experience, because everything from now is only going to get faster.”
Easton highlighted that 28% of 3-4 year olds in the UK already use a tablet or iPad which demonstrates how technically savvy the next generation will be. Easton said that to keep up with competition enterprises need to look out for and anticipate the next companies entering the marketplace and that companies such as Nest (contemporary Interior design solutions), Uber (private taxi app) and Airbnb (unique accommodation service) have already taken traditional services and revolutionised them.
Wearable devices were also mentioned by Easton as an example of the pace of change getting faster. Google recently made a move into healthcare and Easton said that 100 Google employees are currently working on the early detection of cancer, by identifying nano particles in the blood steam through the administration of pill and a wearable device.
According to the FT, Professor Hawking’s view that computers might one day pose a threat to humanity should be put into perspective. But, before the world gets to this point the collaboration between human and computer intelligence will help to tackle problems that cannot otherwise be solved, for example the ability for computers to analyse huge amounts of data, which could in the future be used to help tackle climate change and disease.
Coming back to the present, one of the key themes at the Analytics and Big Data Congress was the need for organisations to find the right team of people to handle their big data projects. Many companies now realise the pressing need for them to start analysing their big data in order to find its value and many experts at the congress said that mixed teams, made up of staff with different levels of technical ability is the key to a successful data project, both now and in the future.
By Nicole Miskelly, bosbguide, Lead Journalist