The relatively familiar 4th industrial revolution is about fusion of advances in the interaction between online/offline, people and things as well as crossindustrial mix to name a few. Keywords used by experts may vary, but it typically refers to AI(Artificial Intelligence) and big data. We hear about AI and Big Data quite often in the media but their concepts are still too difficult to grasp and explain.
Big Data Analytics
Technology for processing large amounts of data to uncover hidden insights and valuable information. Common application of this includes new products and services development, forecasts and prediction for decision making and many more.
To put it simply, it is a system that uses a trained neural network to infer a desired result to a problem like we humans do.
Just as humans have to learn, AI needs to be trained as well. They literally create intelligence through training and learning to make decisions or to come to a conclusion. An easy illustration of training and AI is as follows: define whether machines (computers etc.) have four wheels and use engines for power then recognize them as cars; if a vehicle has two wheels and an engine for power then call it a motorcycle; if a vehicle has two wheels and but if humans are pedaling it then call it a bicycles.
Likewise, inputting an answer for each data as in the abovementioned method will take a considerable amount of time and will become repetitive if new information or data is introduced. This problem can be solved with Machine Learning, which allows machines to leverage on artificial intelligence to learn by itself automatically.
Big data analytics – selection of meaningful data from large amounts of data.
AI Machine Learning – making machines to automatically learn by themselves.
By combining the two, AI can extract data, learn and improve by itself, accumulate knowledge to derive meaningful information.
There is a growing demand and interest in trying to understand this technology as it is expected to be widely used in the various fields of industry in the near future.
It is for this reason that we see many public and private sectors internationally aggressively investing in AI related initiatives. AI has now become indispensable in our daily lives.
I teach ‘AI & Data Analytics’ and ‘Computational Thinking’ courses at the university. Both courses are one of the highest rated and most popular courses. But please don’t consider these courses “mandatory” or “I probably won’t do well in this course because I have no background knowledge in computers.” Instead, please be open-minded and give it a go.
Our courses include basic principles of AI and Big data analysis methods for even the non-majors to follow. It would obviously be impossible to become an expert in this area in such a short time but I believe our students can, with clear understanding of the concepts and basics analytical skills offered, broaden their creativity and an interdisciplinary perspective to apply in his or her majors.
One might question, “AI technology is already being widely used and applied, so would it make sense to jump in to equip myself with relevant knowledge?” Always keep in mind the deep understanding of the 4th industrial revolution is a prework for the 5th industrial revolution and a great stepping stone as well as a competitive advantage over others as we face the imminent era of the 5th industrial revolution.
(Professor, Baird College of