Big Data Analytics (BDA) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are some of the most exciting and rapidly-changing phenomena in the world. These two fields are closely connected, since IoT devices generate (and stream) lots of data which typically requires BDA to create actionable insights and, in many cases, control these devices. Let’s take a look at what interesting happened in these two areas last week.
This is interesting… The speech comparison data visualization is a sketch built in Processing, which is a flexible software sketchbook and a language for learning how to code within the context of the visual arts. It parses words from 9 famous speeches and displays the results in a custom diagram. Each word has an arc divided into 9 colors representing the speakers (such as Bill Clinton or George Bush).
By looking at these arcs, you can see the word-use percentages of all speakers.
Really Smart Smartphones
It looks like the next frontier of mobile devices is an artificial assistant that helps its owner manage all of the information and tasks coming to their devices. Samsung has joined the AI smartphone wars by acquiring the Viv virtual assistant from the makers of Apple’s Siri. Now, Google, Apple, and Samsung all have their own AI-driven personal assistants to put on mobile devices. And the next time we compare smartphones (next fall, maybe?), we will be comparing not just their design and their hardware but also the quality of personal assistants that will come with those phones.
Read more on this subject here.
No More Human Accountants?
We all know that AI is going to change the way we work as some of the tasks will be outsourced to smart algorithms dealing with huge amounts of data, thus freeing us from the job. This article speculates how accountants have been instrumental in helping design the very software that could lead to their demise. For example, modern accounting software “can automatically import transactions, keep track of digital receipts, automating payroll and keeping track of taxes.” Just add some automation to it, and who needs actual humans? Right? Read more here.
A friend of mine is still using paper forms when he files his taxes. He uses his calculator to generate the numbers, and enters them into his forms by hand. The advantage of this process is that he actually understands how each number is calculated. The main disadvantage is being constantly harassed by the IRS for making mistakes in those calculations.
When I do my taxes, I use the TurboTax software. I don’t even know what the Tax forms look like. And I have little idea of how the calculations are done and why some particular numbers show up on the final report. In other words, I have already almost completely traded my control and understanding for convenience and speed. I still have some say in the process and check things periodically when something looks really odd.
When we think of all the advantages of task automation, we should also remember about all of the risks.
Oh, those Russians…
Not sure if this is more interesting or creepy. The CEO of a Russian artificial intelligence startup has developed a chat bot that lets anyone talk to her best friend who died in a car accident.
Anyone who downloads the iOS mobile app Luka can instantly talk to the bot in either English or Russian. The bot uses natural language to answer questions in a sociable way in order to create an interactive experience similar to speaking to another human being.
The article reminds us that “If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s effectively the same idea Google has been touting this year with its Allo app – only Luka did it first.”
And this is an example of such a conversation.
IoT for the Future People
This article reminds us that “Ten years down the line, in the year 2025, the pace with which technology will shape the lives of humans is somewhat straight from the sci-fi movies and Internet of Things would evolve as a major contributor.”
Among other things, the article discusses “San Francisco based Adamant Technologies, which has figured out a way to digitize some of our sensory functions, including taste and smell.
While the human nose employs around 400 sensors to fulfill these functions, processors under development will use up to 2,000, possibly giving future smartphones a sharper sense of smell than humans.”
Not sure if I should trust an article that actually spelled “digitize” as “digitise” in the text 🙂
IoT for Utility Management
According to article, “smart meters have become the top IoT device among utility companies in the last several years. These devices attach to buildings and connect to a smart energy grid, which allows these companies to more effectively manage energy flow into buildings.”
Judging by the numbers, this is one huge area where IoT is happening and impacting both the companies and the consumers big time. And these numbers from BI Intelligence can help us understand the scale of what is going on: BI Intelligence “estimates that the global installed base of smart meters will increase from 450 million in 2015 to 930 million in 2020, which would mark a compound annual growth rate of 15%.”
Nothing but Numbers
• The technology consulting firm Gartner, Inc. projects that 6.4 billion connected things will be in used worldwide this year, a 30 percent increase from last year. And this number is expected to grow by more than three times (to nearly 21 billion) by the year 2020.
• BI Intelligence estimates that the global-installed base of smart meters will increase from 450 million in 2015 to 930 million in 2020, which will mark a compound annual growth rate of 15%.