Data analysis involves much more than simply crunching numbers with a variety of different programs- it involves looking for the buried patterns in a data set that have the potential to influence future decisions. To this day, these patterns that we have been looking for require both human attention and intuition. Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are planning to take out the need for human intuition in big-data analysis and let computers comb the data for predictive patterns. The prototype of the software system is called ‘Data Science Machine’. In order to test the prototype’s ability, they listed it in three data science competitions. The prototype has successfully beaten 615 out of 906 human teams. These researchers say that this machine will act as a natural complement to human intelligence. But is that what we want? Big data is a network that carries so many angles with it. While so much of it is reliant upon algorithms and automation, there is a human element that is still needed to physically search out the patterns. So far, computers do not have the ability to visualize the end result and tie it in with the data. At this point, we should not be giving all of the power to the computers for this very reason. As long as you have the human species involved, there is an element of chaos that will inevitably be introduced. But if people rely too heavily on analytics and algorithms, they can lose the ability to interpret situations and use their own intuition to make decisions. What I do not want to see is decisions go entirely to the hardcore data analytics model, as people could lose their human reasoning skills. As long as statistics are married with common sense in the future, then we will be OK and see positive progression.

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