Defining Big Data
Recently, AGBeat addressed “Big Data” which is defined as large data sets which cannot be managed with simple, common software that captures and processes the data, and is typically consisting of at least dozens of terabytes in a single data set. The challenges of Big Data are, well, big, and most attention is being paid to the massive amounts of data being generated by social media sites like Facebook and Foursquare.
In fact, Big Data was a popular theme at the recent South by Southwest Conference in Austin, with technologists and marketers bringing their unique backgrounds to the conversation, each addressing the collection of and processing of the unprecedented data being collected, for the first time outside of the government, and the concerns that go along with consumers blindly offering up the data.
6 Big Data trends
Bassel Ojjeh, CEO of nPario and former Senior VP of the Data Technology division at Yahoo gave AGBeat an exclusive look at what he is seeing as the top six trends in Big Data:
- Consolidation of Big Data players by either system integrators or hardware makers. Big Data has a big appetite for consulting as well as hardware and storage.
- Hadoop becoming the source of raw data and connectors from there to enterprise data warehouses like Netezza, etc.
- The slow death of RDBMS as we grew up to know them. Which makes for a good question of what will Oracle do.
- Evolution of startups from those who focused on infrastructure plays (Cloudera as an example) to industry specific and application specific plays.
- Integration of data from Natural user interfaces and smart devices with social and behavioral data.
- “Global Impact – Big Data empowering more Arab Springs around the world”. We already saw this in few occasions.
Operating at the intersection of technology and advertising, nPario delivers Big Data publisher and marketing solutions. nPario provides “Audience DNA” to reduce consumer data complexity and to deliver ROI and is the only player in the industry offering these solutions on an open and extensible architecture. nPario is able to extract consumer insights from all sources and transform them into a set of integrated marketing apps that product owners, account executives and clients can use to drive their campaigns. The company helps business users to drive more relevant experiences for their customers through data. They have a multi-patented Big Data platform that was built for and managed by one of the largest online portals in the world.
5 ways professionals are mastering Big Data
Kami Huyse, CEO of Zoetica (an agency that connects brands and nonprofits with their communities for social good) recently crafted a list of five essential skills to master Big Data that is geared toward public relations professionals but we believe is applicable to almost any professional:
- Become an analyst. Don’t be intimidated by data and analytics.
- Learn Excel. One of the best gifts you can give yourself is to take an advanced Excel course to learn how to manipulate data in spreadsheets.
- Collect Data. Consider collecting your own data to supplement what you get from any tools you use.
- Evaluate Tools. By all means keep an eye out for new tools.
- Ask questions. Lots of them. With all of these big data tools, understanding the methodology new tools use to analyze data will be critical.
More details can be found on SpinSucks.com, but Huyse mainly notes that it is important not to get intimidated – the very phrase Big Data can be intimidating, but it is within reach of companies to grasp the wealth of information available to them.
Tonia Ries, founder of Modern Media and The Realtime Report and conferences said, “Understanding how to query, read, map and manipulate data — not what the typical PR or marketing person signed up for, but so critical. I look at it the same way I look at programming: I don’t need to know exactly how to do it, but I need to understand enough about it so I can ask the right questions and use the tools that are built by the programmers.”
“There is a ton of data that people can get their heads around and gain valuable insights with a few simple tools,” said Matt Hixson, CEO of Tellagence. “Learning excel is a great example of DIY analytics. You can gain a ton of insights from doing that. Where it gets complex is when you get to relationships and groups of relationships around specific subjects that form communities. We have tons of data points today but most of us end up putting a mental model of how it all fits together in our head. I think over the coming months people will see new accessible applications that allow them to visualize and understand what they have only pieced together in the past.”
Big Data is here and it is not for the nerds, it is something many companies are already tackling, and all businesses will be thinking about in coming years – it is better to get a jump on it sooner than later to maximize its potential.
Public relations professionals, marketing and communications staff or even CEOs have DIY options, but have amazing tools like nPario within reach, but the commonality of what everyone above is saying is that it is not a trendy phrase, it is a relevant business concept, and we would add that it is a concept most will ignore because it sounds too sophisticated and data nerdy, so professionals in the know will have the advantage.
China no longer dependent on U.S. for smartphone components
(TECH NEWS) Trump’s trade war, more specifically, the ban on shipping phone components, to China has begun to take a toll on chip manufacturing.
Once upon a time, the U.S. and China were buddies, exporting and importing from each other with ease. However, President Trump’s recent actions regarding trade with China is certainly putting a damper on things.
It seems that Chinese companies have moved past the need to import certain products, like smartphone chips, from the U.S. – something they previously relied heavily on by working with American companies like Qorvo, Inc. in North Carolina, Skyworks, Inc. in Massachusetts, Broadcom, Inc. in California, and Cirrus Logic in Texas.
Since the ban in May, Trump specifically barred shipments from the U.S. from companies like Qualcomm and Intel Corp to companies like Chinese tech conglomerate, Huawei Technologies Co. But much like the bans that came before the Trump administration, it didn’t last long. With tensions high, the U.S. actually recently started rolling back some aspects of the ban and started making exceptions that allow American tech companies to continue to work with Chinese companies like Huawei.
Of course, China’s lack of U.S. parts hasn’t stopped them from rolling out new and improved products. As a matter of fact, in September, Huawei unveiled its newest phone, the Mate 30, which boasts highly-desired features, such as a curved screen and a wide angle camera. This makes the phone a pretty solid competitor of Apple’s newest iPhone, the iPhone 11, of which China was sent 10 million of in September and October.
After Huawei’s announcement, investment and banking firm UBS, and Japanese technology lab Fomalhaut Techno Solutions, partnered up and took to their labs to analyze the phone’s components. Their analysis was simple and straightforward. They found that there were absolutely zero American components in the phone. In fact, the chips in the Mate 30 are actually from Huawei’s in-house chip design agency, HiSilicon. They also provided Huawei with WiFi and Bluetooth chips. With HiSilicon’s 20 + years experience in the industry, 200+ chipsets, and 8000+ patents, it’s no wonder U.S. chip companies are getting nervous. Qualcomm, for example, announced a 31-40% decrease in estimated chip shipments over the next year.
Although the chip ban has made a big impact on larger U.S. companies who make and supply chips to China, there are still many other businesses that have been affected in Trump’s trade war. As it happens, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross recently confessed that, since May, when the ban was put in place, the U.S. has received at least 260 requests, asking that they excuse them from the ban and be allowed to work with China as they previously had.
But really, at the end of the day, with so many American companies relying on China for both import and export, it’s probable that the ban will be short-lived and that exceptions won’t need to be made. As Americans, we can be hopeful that the end-result of this trade war will be a positive one, but only time will tell.
AI cameras could cut down traffic deaths, but there may be flaws
(TECH NEWS) Traffic accidents have plagued humanity since motor vehicles were created, can AI help cut down on text and drive incidents?
What if we told you Australian officials believe they have found a way to reduce driving deaths by almost 30% in just two years? It’s a pretty appealing concept. After all, Australia alone faces an average of over 3 deaths a day due to driving accidents. And Australia’s average death rate clocks in at just half of what we face in the United States.
There’s just one problem with Australia’s proposed solution: it’s basically Big Brother.
Basically, Australia plans to use AI cameras to catch people texting and driving. There are plenty of places that have outlawed texting and driving, but that rule is very hard to enforce – it basically means catching someone in the act. With AI cameras, hands free driving can be monitored and fined.
Australia has already started rolling out some of these systems in South Wales. Because this is a new initiative, first time offenses will be let off with a warning. The following offenses can add up quickly, though, with fines anywhere from $233 to $309 USD. After a six month trial period, this program is projected to expand significantly.
But there are real concerns with this project.
Surprisingly, privacy isn’t one of these worries. Sure, “AI cameras built to monitor individuals” sounds like a plot point from 1984, but it’s not quite as dire as it seems. First, many places already have traffic cameras in order to catch things like people running red lights. More importantly, though, is the fact these machines aren’t being trained to identify faces. Instead, the machine learning for the cameras will focus on aspects of distracted driving, like hands off the wheel.
The bigger concern is what will come from placing the burden of proof on drivers. Because machine learning isn’t perfect, it will be paired with humans who will review the tagged photographs in order to eliminate false positives. The problem is, humans aren’t perfect either. There’s bound to be false positives to fall through the cracks.
Some worry that the imperfect system will slow down the judicial system as more people go to court over traffic violations they believe are unfair. Others are concerned that some indicators for texting while driving (such as hands off the wheel) might not simply apply texting. What if, for instance, someone was passing a phone to the back seat? Changing the music? There are subtleties that might not be able to be captured in a photograph or identified by an AI.
No matter what you think of the system, however, only time can tell if the project will be effective.
DeepComposer: AWS’ piano keyboard turns AI up to 11
(TECH NEWS) Amazon has been busy with machine learning, which includes a camera, a car, and now DeepComposer that’s able to add to classics on the fly
Musicians, listen up, there’s a new kid in town, its name is DeepComposer and it’s coming to take your creativity and turn it up to 11.
Artificial Intelligence has taken a leap into what has long been considered the “pinnacle of human creativity”, as Amazon revealed what is said to be the world’s first machine learning-enabled keyboard capable of creating music.
Amazon unveiled its AWS DeepComposer keyboard Monday during AWS re:Invent, a learning conference Amazon Web Services hosted for the global cloud computing community in Las Vegas.
Demonstrating DeepComposer’s abilities, Dr. Matt Wood, Amazon’s VP of Artificial Intelligence, played a snippet of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” and then let the keyboard riff on it with drums, synthesizer, guitar, and bass, sharing a more rockin’ version of the masterpiece.
Generative AI, is considered by scientists at MIT to be one of the most promising advances in AI in the past decade, Wood told the crowd. Generative AI allows for a machine not only to learn from example, as a human would but to take it next level and connect the dots, making the next creative step to composing something completely new.
“It [Generative AI] opens the door to an entire world of possibilities for human and computer creativity, with practical applications emerging across industries, from turning sketches into images for accelerated product development, to improving computer-aided design of complex objects, Amazon said on its AWS re:Invent website.
How does it work? The Generative AI technique pits two different neural networks against each other to produce new and original digital works based on sample inputs, according to Amazon. The generator creates, the discriminator provides feedback for tweaks and together they create “exquisite music”, Wood explained.
A user inputs a melody on the keyboard, then using the console they choose the genre, rock, classical, pop, jazz or create your own and voila, you have a new piece of music. Then, if so desired users can share their creations with the world through SoundCloud.
This is the third machine learning teaching device Amazon has made available, according to TechCrunch. It introduced the DeepLens camera in 2017 and in 2018 the DeepRacer racing cars. DeepComposer isn’t available just yet, but AWS account holders can sign up for a preview once it is.
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