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Nearing end of Book, State of AI

From: Joe
Sent on: Friday, May 2, 2014 11:59 AM

We will cover chapter 8 on forecasting tomorrow morning, and there are only 2 chapters left after that. It's not yet too late to attend our unique and invaluable meetup for even the first time, and get an introduction to the study of Data Science.

Data Science is no longer something that's just 'nice to have' as an IT skill or company capability. It's the fundamental future of computer work itself. The evidence for this is perhaps best summarized by taking a look at the technical and commercial development work and plans of IBM. In a video linked below, IBM's CEO explains the companies development plan. The plan is to focus on 3 computer infrastructure areas, and 1 cutting edge innovation area. The 3 infrastructure like areas, are 'the smarter planet'-which is the internet of things, 'analytics'-which is equivalent to much of Data Science, and 'the cloud'-which is remote servers and virtualization. The cutting edge area is Watson, which sits on top of and is meshed with the 3 infrastructure areas.

This basic architecture does seem to be what the whole computer industry is moving towards. For example Apple arguably has it's own version; 'smarter planet': iphone, 'analytics/cloud': icloud, Watson: Siri. Or for many corporations: 'smarter planet': byod, 'analytics/cloud': Tableau/VM's/Big Data, Watson: the work of Data Scientists. Companies that harness the power of such a system of analytical automation and AI will end up having a stunning level of advantage over their competitors.

A couple days ago the director of IBM research explained an upgrade to Watson. It now can formulate arguments for and against a given English language assertion. He also covers how they are using this feature in combination with Big Data to research anti brain cancer drugs and other cutting edge applications:

Watson is likely the world's current most advanced AI system. But it's significant for an additional reason as well, it's technical and commercial development is integrated with Data Science and cloud deployment.

This factor, Watson's upgrade path, and the fact that Watson is the long term innovation bet of IBM, was explained by IBM's CEO Ginni Rometty several months ago:


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