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Great Power, Great Responsibility – The 2020 Big Data and AI Landscape

What's Inside

In this tech-savvy world, almost all of us are familiar with the terms like Big Data and AI. but do we know what they stand for?

If anything, we have a vague idea. We know that Big Data stands for a huge amount of data sets that result from continuous corporate surveillance on us, and  AI stands for intelligent systems that can not only make decisions on their own but also have the power to take away jobs. But is this all there is to big data and AI?

Actually, no. there’s much more to big data and Artificial Intelligence than these concepts. The world of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence is vast, and it is not possible to completely understand that. However, that doesn’t mean we can not try.

Let’s Start With A Little History

We will talk about the present and future landscape of AI and Big Data. But before that, we have to talk a little about their past.

The use of data in industries like Agriculture has been around since the Mesopotamian age. It is undeniable that data has been used to improve various aspects of society throughout history. But those data, however, are not Big Data. 

big data and ai

The term Big Data was used for the first time in 2005 by Roger Mougalas from O’Reilly Media. It purely denotes the huge amount of data collected by big companies daily. 2005 also happened to be the same year when Yahoo! developed Hadoop to index the world wide web. As an open-sourced system, Hadoop is now used by different business organizations around the world to analyze huge amounts of data. 

AI, on the other hand, is something entirely different than big data technologies. Big Data deals mostly with human users and their data. AI looks toward an automated machine system that can make decisions based on the available data. AI can be called a direct descendent of the Big Data trend, even though the concept of AI has been around longer. 

AI robot
Source: Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash

The term Artificial Intelligence was first used in 1956, at a conference at Dartmouth College. The concept of automated inanimate objects that can perform tasks on their own has been around for a long time, and with Modern AI, that concept has come to reality. Whether we are talking about AI-based robots or cars, artificial intelligence is working smoothly to automate every part of our lives.

Even though they differ from each other, there is a fundamental connection between the two. And to understand their future, we have to understand their symbiotic relationship at first.

Big Data And AI: The Relationship

When it comes to the fundamental workings of the two technologies, Big Data and AI can not be far apart. The first one deals with better handling of data, generating insights. And the second one uses that data to automate systems and make decisions without any external help.

big data and ai

The relationship between AI and Big data is that of give and take. AI uses the data sets to get better at the decision-making process, while Big Data uses smart AI systems for better data analysis. Let’s look at how they are connected in a detailed manner.

1. How AI Uses Big data?

Before Big Data analysis, systems were merely trained on a basis of variables and made simple decisions based on that. However, with big data analysis, things have gotten a little more advanced.

The huge datasets that have been named Big data, simply contain too many variables to be analyzed and used in programming systems. And that’s why the smart AI systems are merely fed the data. These systems analyze the data, learn the patterns, and eventually get better trained at dealing with similar kinds of data.

Imagine an AI system that is being trained to recognize the prices of houses. 

  • In the first step, the smart system will be fed with real estate Big data about various houses and their prices, 
  • The system will eventually discover a pattern within the data, and the various factors which make the house prices fluctuate.
  • Later on, the AI system will become an expert in determining house prices, thanks to the Big Data collected by a real estate company.  

The function of AI depends on big data technologies. However, Big data depends heavily upon AI as well.

2. How Big Data Is Benefitted By AI?

AI helps in understanding as well as helping us to understand Big Data by providing proper insight into the pattern. It deals with the fundamental question we all have when it comes to Big data and that is, what to do with all the data.

AI helps in discovering new ways of understanding and discovering patterns within the huge amount of data sets. Earlier big organizations and data engineers used queries and MySQL to derive insights into the data, which happened to be an extremely laborious task. But with AI/ML in hand, it is not as laborious as it used to be.

Added to that there’s the matter of data quality. The huge amount of data that companies collect can not be used without sorting them out. Not all the variables can be used by them to make data-driven decisions, and that’s where AI comes in. It sorts out the variables, recognizing the ones that’ll be useful and discards the others, making a completely usable dataset that can help the companies to make better business decisions.

Right now the combination of Big Data and AI is being used by numerous industries in various ways. From treating patients to quality control in a manufacturing line, there are simply way too many uses that are enriching the Big Data and Artificial intelligenceI landscape at present.

Big Data And AI: The Present Landscape

Whether you call it invasion or advancement, we can not ignore the various applications of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence throughout different industries. industry professionals consider the automation of industry workings to be the ultimate sign of modernization.

The best way to understand the present and future landscape of Big Data and AI is to understand the present uses of the technologies and the results we are deriving from that. Big Data and Artificial Intelligence have disrupted many different industries until now, and here are the top five among them.

A. Big Data And AI In Healthcare

The Healthcare system is flooded with a huge amount of data on a daily basis. And the only problem is that there is no set infrastructure that can make sense of this data and make use of it. And that’s why the use of big data and artificial intelligence in healthcare has become a necessary approach to improve upon the current healthcare industry.

big data

With Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, however, many healthcare organizations are using this data to better the kind of treatments provided to the patients. The data that is collected by healthcare organizations is not only being used in providing proper treatment to the patients but medical research as well as better diagnostic research.

Not only artificial intelligence and big data in public health makes it easy for healthcare professionals to make better and data-driven decisions, it is also helping the patients to get more personalized healthcare services. Chatbots, medical apps, and wearables are only the foyer of the immense possibility AI has in the healthcare industry.

B. Big Data And AI: the Financial Magic

There are definitely many uses for big data in the banking and finance industry. But the most popular one is in the prevention of fraud and security.

Big data is being used to analyze the spending habits of the customers and recognize the set patterns. Whenever there are any transactions conducted outside of the set pattern, it is flagged as a suspicious transaction and both the bank and client are notified about it.

big data and AI
Photo by Nick Pampoukidis on Unsplash

The early detection of fraudulent activities is definitely making the client’s bank experiences more secure than ever. Add to that the constant maintenance and upgradation of cyber-security systems in place, and banking experience has never been so secure. 

There is one other major use of big data and AI in the finance sector we have to talk about and that is financial forecasting. Bigger organizations, as well as individual customers today, are using the big data and Artificial Intelligence-based forecasting software, that analyzes the financial data and provides advice on how to invest money and get the best results. This use of AI and big data is not only about improving the customer experience, but also about ensuring their steady financial growth.

C. Big Data And AI In Insurance Industry

The main challenge the insurance industry has faced till now is inadequate utilization of the available data. The data collected by insurance organizations all around the world can be used to provide personalized services, pricing and targeted services that can improve the experience of the client.

With that in mind, insurance companies today are using big data analysis to analyze and detect patterns within the collected data so that they can provide better and more personalized services to the clients.

Big data and AI

In such a case, the analytics system is used to sort through the data and recognize the specific insurance-related requirements for the clients of different age segments. And then the AI system works is trained using the data, helping the client with more personalized service that fulfills their requirements.  According to research, the client data is collected from two sources- the online behavior of the clients, and sensor data.

Similar to the healthcare industry, there are still a lot of persisting problems in the insurance industry when it comes to the use of electronic data and artificial intelligence. However, according to recent news, insurance companies are using ai-based systems to improve upon their customer experience.

D. eCommerce Industry: The Most Famous User For Big Data And AI

At this point, we are all familiar with how the ecommerce industry is using AI and big data to provide us with better customer support and ecommerce experience. The AI/ML based suggestion system can range from wondrous to downright creepy, but that doesn’t mean that it is not being useful.

The main impact of big data and AI in ecommerce will be that of customer satisfaction. Previously we had to search for a product every time we went to an online store. Now, using the machine learning methods, the store simply remembers our preferences and shows us the product upfront, reducing the need to search for it on the store.

Source: Photo by Brandable Box on Unsplash

Big data analysis also provided the online store owners with real-time data analysis that helps them to make better decisions that help the store to grow. The data on customer demographics, shopping patterns, and spending habits can be used to create a better shopping experience.

The seamless shopping experience is only about to get better in the future as the big data analysis and AI technology improves.

The Future Landscape Of Big Data And AI: Trends And Challenges

Now that we have spoken about big data and artificial intelligence, what they are and how they are being used in the recent scenario, it is time to talk about future trends.

According to the experts, both big data analytics and AI technology are going to see exponential growth in the coming years. But what are some of the specific trends and challenges we will get to see?

A. Data Volume Will Continue To Rise, Making Cloud Computing A Popular Option!

According to the ”Data Age 2025″ report by IDC, the global datasphere is going to reach 175 zettabyte by 2025. The main contributor to this large amount of data growth will be the increasing number of internet users all around the globe and the rise in the number of iot devices. 

Eventually, this large number of data will be impossible to store and manage, therefore making cloud storage and computation migration a necessity. Cloud computing services such as aws, microsoft azure, google cloud platforms have already made cloud storage and computing easier for the companies. And now they are only going to get more popular.

B. Machine Learning Is Going To Become More Important Than Ever.

If you thought machine learning is being overused now, wait till you see its increased popularity in the future. With the increase in the collected data, it will encourage more companies to use machine learning to provide the users with machine learning based customer experiences.

The improvements of the algorithm, on the other hand, will increase the abilities of the machine learning services. This will eventually lead to a higher level of personalization in any and all kinds of services, something we have yet to experience.

understanding AI

However, the challenge remains, and that is if the increasing abilities of the ai/ml systems will take away the jobs of millions of people around the world. The matter of AI automation is already under fire, and in the future, there might be more resistance against the subject of workforce automation. However, all we can do right now is wait and see how it all turns out.

C. Data Scientists And Chief Data Officers Are Going To Be In Demand!

Even though these career prospects are comparatively new, they are also in demand. 

According to a 2019 survey conducted by KPMG showed how among the 3,600 CIOs and technology executives from 108 countries around the world, a staggering 67% of professionals struggled with skills related to data analytics, AI and Machine learning and security.

Big data and AI

Source: Photo by Headway on Unsplash

The shortage of professional data analysts and CDOs are being felt by most of the big corporations wanting to utilize big data and AI in their business ventures. And as a result, these professional posts are going to become even more popular in the near future.

D. Privacy & Security Will Still Remain A Major Concern

Even though the data sets containing our data are being used for good till now, there are still some concerns about how it is going to be in the future. And you can expect these concerns to become bigger in the future.

The fundamentals of big data depend on the collection of data from various sources, whether it is from our online behavior, or from our iot based refrigerator. This process of data collection is what puts the practice of big data in serious question. The question of privacy in big data and AI has always been rampant, but in the future, it is going to become even more prominent concern for a large number of people.


The matter of big data and AI is definitely fascinating and frightening. Fascinating because it is opening up newer avenues in various industries that we have never even imagined yet.  But on the other hand, it is frightening cause we have no idea what these technologies are capable of.

However, there’s no doubt that the popularity of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence is only going to increase in the future. And there are bigger chances that despite the challenges, it is going to introduce more breakthroughs in various industries and changing the way we interact with the world.

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