Las Vegas casinos will soon be full of the world’s leading data crunchers.
This week, the city will play host to the Big Data Innovation Summit, a two-day forum on advanced theories and applications for big data. . With that much mathematical brainpower floating around, there’s bound to be a few card counters working the tables during the conference off-hours.
If you skim through the Summit’s speakers and topics list, you’ll notice a few recurring themes: big data (obviously), machine learning, and IoT. But there’s another focusthat emerges over and over again, one that might seem out of place if it weren’t so ubiquitous: the human element.
Beena Ammanath, executive leader of data and analytics for General Electric will be there to argue on behalf of industrial applications for big data, “It’s in the industrial area that big data is going to have the biggest impact, transforming economies, saving lives, reducing power consumption, changing the way we live,” notes her presentation overview – these are highly aspirational and human goals for a corporation to have, and the burden falls on the analytics team to achieve them.
Boeing is also looking for the human element, and will present on big data technologies they’ve developed and the important role of humans throughout the process.
Microsoft’s James McCaffrey, a senior research scientist, is presenting on neural networks. He is promising to explain how neural networks operate without using “Greek letters or annoying jargon.” It’s a telling hook: artificial intelligence used to be a purely esoteric concept, but in 2016, it’s becoming something that increasingly affects — and is informed by — the actions of ordinary people.
Speaking of ordinary people, Arjit Sengupta, CEO of BeyondCore is talking about how his company interprets big data in a way that non-scientists can quickly understand. He’ll show how analytics is moving to a place where “users can easily overlay human intuition on top of automated analysis.”
Man vs. machine
We hear and read a lot about the threat of artificial intelligence to humanity — a matter of science fiction that geeks just love to talk about — but pop culture tends to minimize the truth that the human element will always play a critical role in the development and application of new technologies.
Everyday communication is a great example. Attendees at the Big Data Innovation Summit will probably talk about the need for better natural language processing and solid text analytics strategies, because real-world communication is such a complex, idiosyncratic system of signals.This is where human input plays a role, because in order for Big Data to deliver, machines have to be able to learn from us about what we mean when we speak and write. Machines need to know how to interpret informal, spoken language, slang-filled social media text, when we’re joking, when we’re quoting Caddyshack… it’s a complicated job. .
Our technology supports big data by bridging the gap between formal business English and everything else, helping to bring context to the new kind of data that businesses rely on to make better decisions. As the world’s largest text classification engine, we support any big data effort by bringing structure to the seemingly unstructurable.
For the last ten years, we’ve had humans curating a massive taxonomy than runs 21 tiers deep and contains almost half a million total categories. We can take data from any source and run it through our universal topic hierarchy in real time and deliver structured data for your applications. It’s simple and elegant, and it creates an opportunity to take a very deep dive into the human meaning of the data that you’re looking at.
As the number crunchers assemble in one of the most data-driven vacation and conference spots on the planet, we’ll be following the conversation about the importance of human language to Big Data. Enjoy the show!