Artificial intelligence is a data hog; effectively building and deploying AI and machine learning systems require large data sets. “The development of a machine learning algorithm depends on large volumes of data, from which the learning process draws many entities, relationships, and clusters,” says Philip Russom of TDWI. “To broaden and enrich the correlations made by the algorithm, machine learning needs data from diverse sources, in diverse formats, about diverse business processes.”

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SwissCognitive, AI, Artificial Intelligence, Bots, CDO, CIO, CI, Cognitive Computing, Deep Learning, IoT, Machine Learning, NLP, Robot, Virtual reality, learningAt the same time, AI itself can be instrumental in identifying and preparing the data needed to increase the value of AI-driven or analytics-driven systems. Companies have needed cadres of data scientists or high-level analysts to put AI and machine learning algorithms in place, AI itself may ultimately help automate such roles to a large degree.

“A new generation of enterprise analytics is emerging, and it incorporates some degree of both automation and contextual information,” according to Tom Davenport and Joey Fitts, writing in Harvard Business Review. AI-enhanced analytics systems “can prepare insights and recommendations that can be delivered directly to decision makers without requiring an analyst to prepare them in advance.”

Business intelligence analysts and quantitative professionals “will still have important tasks to perform, but many will no longer have to provide support and training to amateur data users,” according to Davenport and Fitts. “Small to mid-size businesses that haven’t been able to afford data scientists will be able to analyze their own data with higher precision and clearer insight. All that will matter to organizations’ analytical prowess will be a cultural appetite for data, a set of transactional systems that generate data to be analyzed, and a willingness to invest in and deploy these new technologies.”

Of course, the ability to effectively automate data science tasks depends on industry and circumstances. As Matt Przybyla, senior data scientist and author of Toward Data Science, points out, there often still needs to be trained human guidance to AI and machine learning initiatives, especially if the output is critical to the tasks at hand. “Sure, use an automated data science platform if you already have a data analyst on your team. Or, use the automated solution for predictions that are not harmful if incorrect. Categorizing clothes incorrectly is not the worst thing that can happen, but when you are in the health or finance industry and you classify a disease or large sums of money incorrectly, the harm is undeniable.” […]

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