When people talk about big data, are they simply referring to numbers and metrics?
Technically, big data is simply bits and bytes—literally, a massive amount (petabytes or more) of data. But to dismiss big data as mere ones and zeroes misses the point. Big data may physically be a collection of numbers, but when placed against proper context, those numbers take on a life of their own.
This is particularly true in the realm of artificial intelligence (AI). AI and big data are intrinsically connected; without big data, AI simply couldn't learn. From the perspective of the team in charge of Oracle's Cloud Business Group (CBG) Product Marketing, they liken big data to the human experience. On Oracle's Practical Path To AI podcast episode Connecting the Dots Between Big Data and AI, team members compare the AI learning process to the human experience.
The short version: the human brain ingests countless experiences every moment. Everything that is taken in by senses is technically a piece of information or data—a note of music, a word in a book, a drop of rain, and so on. Infant brains learn from the very beginning they start taking in sensory information, and the more they encounter, the more they are able to assimilate and process, then respond in new and informed ways.
AI works similarly. The more data an AI model encounters, the more intelligent it can become. Over time, as more and more data processes through the AI model, it becomes increasingly significant. In that sense, AI models are trained by big data, just as human brains are trained by the data accumulated through multiple experiences.
And while this may all seem scary at first, there's a definite public shift toward trusting AI-driven software. This is discussed further by Oracle's CBG team on the podcast episode, and it all goes back to the idea of human experiences. In the digital realm, people now have the ability to document, review, rank, and track these experiences. This knowledge becomes data points in big data, thus fed into AI models which start validating or invalidating the experiences. With enough of a sample size, a determination can be made based on "a power of collective knowledge" that grows and creates this network.
However, that doesn't mean that AI is the authority on everything, even with all the data in the world.
To hear more about this topic—and why human judgment is still a very real and very necessary part of, well, everything—listen to the entire podcast episode Connecting the Dots Between Big Data and AI and be sure to visit Oracle's Big Data site to stay on top of the latest developments in the field of big data.