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Disrupt Or Be Disrupted By Big Data

This is a recurring theme that permeates industries the world over in recent years. The Big Data, Analytics & Cognitive Systems Conference held in St Giles the Gardens Hotel & Residences, KL, organised by IDC Malaysia, took a close look as the disruptive factors and how BDA has played a part in it so far.

Chua Chwee Kan, Associate VP, Big Data and Analytics and Cognitive Computing, IDC Asia/Pacific discussed the fast emerging innovations that are addressing the rapidly evolving demands around analytics, cognitive and AI computing. He showed how nobel prize winning innovations that was highly complex in nature and took a very long time to conduct, when assisted by Machine/Deep Learning, could be completed in a fraction of the time, allowing it’s innovators time to focus on the details.

He also showed how Machine/Deep Learning was used in farming vegetables in Japan where the price of a fruit or vegetable can be exorbitant. With it, farmers were able to reduce workloads and man power as well as increase efficiency and quality of the produce, while keeping costs low.

“Either you disrupt or be disrupted. One prediction that we have is by 2018, 1/3 of the top 20 market share holders will be significantly disrupted. The incumbents will have to seek to reinvent ourselves to be relevant. Either in creating new business models or creating new products and services”, said Chua.

The three platforms where companies will need to make use of or build upon are in cloud software, data analytics and mobility. Without which, being part of the future of society will be impossible he explained. The Internet of Things revolution demands it. Human evolution is at a stage where break throughs are happening at an exponential rate. If enterprises aren’t ready to adopt those changes, they will most definitely be left out to dry.

Dr Ettikan Karrupiah, Director, Developer’s Ecosystem, NVIDIA APAC South, who spoke on the topic of Deep Learning in Industry With NVIDIA & Dell EMC, believes that this is the most exciting of times in human evolution. An age he says, where changes that are happening within a lifetime, but was thought to take 100 or even 1000 years to come to fruition.

“The disruptive change is going to change the way humankind react, observe or participate in those changes. I’m really excited as a researcher and as a developer to share with all of you, on why NVIDIA is involved in this journey”, he says enthusiastically.

He went on to share his own experiences when in discussions with new startups, such as a company that’s looking to save up to 40% in lighting costs by being able to use ML and AI to determine the right amount of lighting to be used in environments such as street lights, ballroom presentations such as the one he was conducting, as well as in identifying and directing repair work for faulty lights.

“By having intelligence in the lighting operation, they are able to save almost 40 to 50 percent in costs”, he pointed out.

Other companies they are working with, include shopping apps that are currently available for download, that will personalise your shopping needs and desires; to companies using drones to fly over plantations in search of crops that are unhealthy, or search out fertile areas for growing specific crops, or to search out illegal plantations. Human emotion analysis was another example he gave of Deep Learning being used in retail to identify a person’s emotional state just by analysing facial expression.

Data analytics through deep learning creates a conducive environment for innovations to make quick and timely decisions. What used to take months or even years to research, now can be done within, days, minutes or even seconds.

How does this effect the enterprise and business models?

Without a doubt, in monetary terms, there will be tremendous savings from product ideation till product launch. This in turn will affect the price range that directly impacts the consumer. Which in turn impacts industry’s ability to cope with demand.

That being said, with prices that have now halved, and in some cases become just a fraction of what it used to be, such as in the plantation and manufacturing industries, will the end user experience that price drop, or will the prices remain at its current value.

For now, from experts in their fields such as the speakers at the conference today, to the regular guy off the street, we are all in awe at how quickly trends are changing and the automation that is expected to arrive at our doorstep, from driverless cars to robotics, speaking phones and chat bots, that the economics are of little consequence. Perhaps now is not the time to think of what are the consequences of our actions, but a time to marvel at man’s greatest evolutionary progress since the beginning of time.