Deciding by Data is a weekly podcast where serial entrepreneurs Andrew Weinreich and Jeremy Levy interview business leaders about how numbers drive decisions at their companies. The following post has been adapted from a podcast interview.
Matt Turck makes a living investing in the future. As a Managing Director at FirstMark Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm whose portfolio raised over $1 billion in 2015, Matt invests in early-stage startups with a focus on Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning. But that’s just his day job. Matt also blogs about Big Data and organizes two monthly events: Data Driven NYC (focused on data-driven startups, Big Data, and AI) and Hardwired NYC (focused on the Internet of Things, AR/VR, drones, and other emerging technologies).
In an interview for my podcast, Deciding by Data, Matt tells us why there’s more that he’s excited about than fearful of when it comes to Big Data and AI.
3 Ways Big Data Will Change Business, According to Matt Turck:
1. Your data doesn’t have to be “Big” to do cool analyses.
Just because your company doesn’t have millions of data points doesn’t mean you should scrap your data strategy. “It's not Big Data for the sake of Big Data,” Matt says. “You can do plenty of things with [a] smaller dataset.” While you may not be able to detect cancer with a smaller amount of data, you can certainly run valuable analyses for plenty of other purposes, like identifying trends in how users engage with your site, understanding which types of advertising campaigns are most effective at generating conversions, and knowing what time of day your audience is most likely to open your email newsletter.
2. You probably shouldn’t freak out about AI ruining the world.
Elon Musk has warned of an AI-powered war in the not-so-distant future. But Matt says it’s probably still pretty distant. At this point in time, he says, “[E]xtremely smart people are feeling incredibly challenged making small bits of AI truly work.” While AI could still rapidly advance and take over the world, Matt says the possibility is so small and far off that it’s not worth worrying about, and we’re better off unlocking all of the ways it could enhance human life.