The Future of Big Data and AI

The thought of living and working next to robots at one point in our lives sounded like a pipe dream.

But we are currently witnessnessing incremental changes in the way we live and work – and AI and robots are slowly trickling their way into our everyday life. Four esteemed panelist came together at SXSW 2016 for Umbel’s Data Discoveries panel to discuss the current state of big data and AI – ranging from the likelihood of killer robots to robots that can offer us cradle-to-grave attention.

AI technologies and deep learning have been around for several decades. However, the difference now is not more advanced technologies, it’s that these technologies (such as Watson), now have the computational speed and data available to assist them to making more calculated decisions and ability to learn new things, according to Kris Hammond of Narrative Science. He stated it takes millions of data points and prior examples to make informed decisions – which were not previously available to us.

Panelist Doug Lenat of Cycorp countered his statement by pointing out that while we do have more access to data, we still are still severely far away from being able to trust AI. We still have a “Grand Canyon” sized gap to fill when it comes to AI being able to rely on its own reasoning and logic in order to be trustworthy.

But Rayid Ghani of University of Chicago points out that governments and nonprofits are the furthest away from leveraging big data applications to help resolve issues such as police brutality. Rayid Ghani also emphasized the current lack of focus on applying big data and AI to short term societal issues that we’re facing today and not just commercial applications such as a Google or Facebook ads.

To watch the rest of the panel discussion, please click here.