When British politician Michael Gove declared recently that ‘people in this country have had enough of experts,’ he was effectively summing up the current political climate which has seen the rise of politicians at the extremes of the spectrum, where things like facts and expert opinion are eschewed as redundant and stupid,- propaganda being used to diminish their own belligerent unfounded, stupid opinions masquerading as common sense.
It is difficult to see where data analytics fits into this narrative. Donald Trump’s own apparent dismissal of the power of data analytics with the firing of his head of data operations is evidence of this mindset. It will be interesting to see how this works out for him in the upcoming presidential election when he faces off against Hillary Clinton, who has invested significantly in her data operations.
In other areas of society, where the insanity seen in politics is not tolerated to quite the same degree, we are actually seeing advances in analytics that could help us better understand human behavior. In this issue, we look at how marketers are using behavioral analytics, a subset of the data sciences which incorporates the field of psychology to gain a deep understanding of why we do the things we do.
This push to use analytics also has tremendous implications for Artificial Intelligence (AI). We have seen tech giants increase investment in AI dramatically in the last few years, and there are now a number of startups operating in the sector that could push things forward. The technology is still in its infancy, but with analytics better understanding human behavior, it may not be long before machines recreate it to a level which makes them indistinguishable from humans.
Indeed, we are now moving past developing AI as a technology and thinking more about the practical real world applications. Later in the
magazine, we look at some of these, including the banking industry and art. Also, somewhat ironically, how it could render the very data scientists who created it redundant if left to find and analyze data itself.
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