Data, Artificial Intelligence and the Christmas Lectures

During the Christmas break I found myself tuning in to watch the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, partly as some kind of nostalgia trip but also because of the topic. It had two themes that struck me whilst watching. The first was the relevance and importance of data that we have and can now collect. Second, our ability to model the real world digitally through algorithms.

Artificial intelligence, and more specifically machine learning needs data to create the vast testing programs to make this viable and more accurate. One example was the collection of video footage, motion capture and AI to analyse the performance of premier league football players. And, a few years ago this would have been impossible to feasibly achieve even with a football club’s budget.

Digital twins, where virtual copies of real world entities are created, need data so that they are accurate representations. So, this is feasible since there are: a prevalence of devices that now collect data as part of their day-to-day tasks; cloud computing; and AI tools to analyse the data.

These capabilities are becoming so prevalent that data was a major theme of the Christmas lectures. And this was to an audience of school age children. So, if they can grow to adulthood with these concepts under their belts, the digital economy will be a better place.

I can’t help thinking this would be a good topic for many business leaders too……..






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