In a recent Forbes article, by Gil Press (“AI Will Eclipse Hadoop, Says Forrester, So Cloudera Files For IPO As A Machine Learning Platform”) provided interesting viewpoint into the upcoming IPO of Cloudera, suggesting that it marks a decline in the primacy of data platforms. This decline, he suggests, is driven by emerging AI, Data Science and Machine Learning technologies reducing the reliance on big data platforms, and makes for interesting (and somewhat anxious) reading for those who have large investments in this arena. This, he considers, is a “Revolution”, supported by Cloudera repositioning themselves as a “Machine Learning” platform; and has coincided with poor results, from Hadoop distribution vendor Hortonworks; another big data player.
Data Platforms ≠ AI
As highlighted by Press, some of the biggest revolutionists would not have acted unexpectedly if they opted to quit whilst they were ahead, Press suggested that this may have been the case for Hortonworks following their explosive success back in 2014/15, suggesting
“What if December 12, 2014, the day Hortonworks went public…[was the day] the bubble ‘began to quiver and shake preparatory to its bursting’? What if Hortonworks had decided to rush to the exit while expectations were high?”.
There is certainly attractiveness in the potential of exiting the game whilst the going is good but if you really want to protect your investment throughout the AI and machine learning revolution, what can you do?
Press argues that the greatest weakness to revolutions is their longevity and that the next revolution is always lurking in the shadows. That said, Hortonworks appear to use this to their advantage and following a disappointing last year, the firm remain resilient suggesting that the next revolution will, in fact, propel them onto greater achievements. Highlighted in the Forbes article, the Hortonworks detail that “Looking ahead at developments in the big data market, we believe that we can further leverage our existing R&D investments for utilisation across other data-intensive technology trends like Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and Machine Learning where excitement and interest has grown significantly.”
Humans In The Loop
All of this exciting intelligence and technological advancement is still people-centric and a lot of the subtext to this platform posturing confirms this: humans are still very much in the loop. Technology is a constant evolutionary field and the innovation and potential is what attracts so much attention to this sector. However, the real driving force behind technological developments lies with the people and communities behind the platforms, rather than the systems themselves, something we considered at length in an earlier blog post.
The market size of AI and it’s potential continues to impress and figures are staggering. In VentureBeat’s recent article, the outstanding marketing capabilities of machine learning and AI were considered and values were determined to be mammoth.
“The global cognitive computing market is expected to reach $12.5 billion in 2019, up from $2.5 billion in 2014, at a CAGR of 38 percent. “Machine learning is exploding right now,”says Stewart Rogers, director of marketing technology at VentureBeat. “We can’t ignore the hype.”
AUGMENTED Intelligence, not Artificial Intelligence
The excitement surrounding AI has increased dramatically recently, though the hype isn’t necessarily related to Artificial Intelligence so much as it is Augmented Intelligence. In many instances, complex algorithms are mistaken as Artificial Intelligence, when they are, in fact, better considered augmented due to their reliance on coding by data scientists – humans. Pivigo CEO Kim Nilsson champions the revolutionary potential of AI embracement:
“We are on the verge of the digital revolution with artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science making its mark across many different businesses and industries. We see it every day – businesses need to understand that technologies and platforms are great but there is still a need for humans to be in the loop. General AI will not happen for decades and so we are really in the ‘augmented intelligence’ era – where these technologies help and make our roles efficient but cannot be the full solution.”
How to Protect Your AI Investment
There are a number of exceptional advantages to businesses who are quick to adopt Data Science, AI and Machine Learning. The investments in these fields have been proven to yield mammoth margin growths and support significant business development patters across a range of industries. Businesses can protect their investments, enhance their margins and streamline their practices once they have a sound understanding of the industry as a whole. Through the introduction of experts from specific talent pools to a firm, the benefits are swift. Once a business embraces and utilises Data Science, Machine Learning and AI, the possibilities for greater successes are immeasurable. A sensible first step for businesses would be to engage with a trusted partner, one with an extensive track record, experience of a variety of sectors and predominantly, one that is platform agnostic. In doing so, your investments are protected through the utilisation of an expert firm that does not compromise your control over business growth.
For those firms who still aren’t persuaded on the benefits of investing in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence right now, take a look at Google’s recent acquisition of Kaggle, a move that sent a clear sign to the rest of the industry that access to a rich data science talent pool is strategically important. The benefits of early adoption of data scientists and AI experts cannot be understated; and many businesses will now be positioning themselves to follow Google’s lead.