Artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, and other advanced analytics technologies are driving the growth of some of the most forward-looking and admired organizations, from Amazon to Netflix to GE. This leading-edge of analytics combines big data and near real-time processing with other advanced tools to deliver the insights you need, before an analyst might have even formulated the right question to ask.
Some early use cases that have gotten a lot of attention include autonomous vehicles (self-driving cars), customer service chatbots, and recommendation engines. These technologies can also diagnose health conditions from medical imaging, advance precision medicine, and improve the outcomes for cardiac patients.
Benefits of such technologies include improved efficiency, reduced costs, fewer errors, and faster decision-making. These technologies can automate many tasks that used to be performed by humans -- from minimum wage customer service representatives, to highly trained and highly paid physicians. That always leads to the question of whether the rise of these technologies will disrupt the workforce as we know it and lead to job losses in the decades ahead.
Some of the top thinkers who have access to information about the current state of AI advances -- people like Elon Musk -- have also raised concerns about whether AI should be held back lest we lose control of rogue machines that end up doing harm rather than helping.
There are still more questions than answers for how AI and machine learning will ultimately affect society as a whole.
There are so many facets to the conversation about these advanced analytics technologies: practical discussions about techniques, and big picture ethics and strategy debates about where these technologies will take organizations and society in the years ahead. To help you keep up with it all, we've assembled a list of some key people to follow on Twitter if you are interested in AI and machine learning. Some of these names may be familiar. Others may be new to you. But all are influential thinkers or practitioners in these advanced analytics fields, and people who you should be following if you care about the future. Are there any who we missed? Please add them in the comments.