Big Data IoT AI- Since computers were first invented people have been looking for ‘the next big thing.’ Now, as close to half the world owns a phone faster than the earliest supercomputers, it is difficult to keep track of what we should pay attention to. While many of the inventions that utilize powerful technology barely make it past the headlines (has anyone ever seen a smart fridge?), the advances that made them possible often fall victim to the same hype.
Big Data, AI, and IoT are three of the most widely misappropriated terms of recent times, and many do not know how these technologies are linked, or how they have paved the way for the technological progress we have come to expect. This article will shed some light on these concepts, and further articles will delve into their importance in industry, obstacles that they face, and what lies ahead.
The big bang
In the years following the launch of The World Wide Web in 1989, there was a huge growth in the number of machines connected to each other, and when GPS became viable between 1994 and 2000 the amount of data being generated by computers and connected devices skyrocketed. The potential of this network of devices was soon realized, and in 1999 the term ‘Internet of Things’ was first coined by Kevin Ashton of MIT, postulating: ‘If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things, using data they gathered without any help from us, we would be able to track and count everything and greatly reduce waste, loss and cost.’
With GPS technology taking off, RFID tags being used in loyalty card systems, and the PDA market heating up, businesses were able to ‘see’ into their processes and the conditions were perfect for an information explosion. In 2005, the term ‘Big Data’ was first used by Roger Mougalas as the amount of data generated became too much for existing tools to process. The launch of the iPhone in 2007 marked Big Data’s move into the consumer sphere, and since then the rise of smartphones, wearables, tablets, and all number of smart devices have changed our perception of the physical and digital world.
Big Data, big changes
At the same time, the rise of social media and e-commerce led to the idea of a digital persona, and the incredible value of data became apparent. The ’00s also saw the emergence of the data sector, with companies forming specifically to help enterprises manage organizational data and use it to improve processes. Venkat Viswanathan, the co-founder and chairman of LatentView Analytics, had experienced the power of data in the consumer marketing sphere and saw interest in business environments too. ‘What enabled a lot of this transformation is that digital data is so much more granular,’ said Viswanathan, ‘companies were taking ideas from the consumer sector and applying it in industry.’