Governments and businesses continue to plow heavy investments into big data, analytics, and artificial intelligence. These technology trends are reinventing every aspect of our lives, and they're utterly transforming the 21st-century economy.

The new frontiers of the 21st-century economy

New applications for artificial intelligence are emerging daily, turning industries on their heads. And big data is proving vital to decoding the explosion of information delivered by a sprawling web of interconnected devices.

Big data, AI, and analytics91 percent of Fortune 1000 companies are increasing investments into Big Data and AI, according to a study from NewVantage Partners.

Companies are hoping to gain insights into customers, purchase patterns and business trends. Most firms want to get ahead of rivals, revealing an understanding that big data and AI offer a competitive advantage.

While large companies make sizeable fixed investments into commercial AI applications, more mid-size companies are reaching out to AI startups to meet their business needs.

AI and big data reshape the modern economy

Central to the unfolding story of how AI is reshaping our lives is how it will impact the workforce.

Byron Reese, futurist and host of the Voices of AI podcast, tells TechRepublic, inventions like electricity and the assembly line didn't destroy the jobs market - there was no sharp drop in unemployment when these innovations were introduced. Instead, technology would raise the standard - and pay - for jobs of all levels incrementally.

The technology would give human employees the opportunity to do work that drives real business value.

While these technology trends won’t kill the jobs market, they’ll create demand for employees with deep analytical skills.

Chatbots and artificial intelligence for the insurance industryThe rise of big data and AI saw the Harvard Business Review dubbing the role of data scientist as the “sexiest job of the 21st century”.

Speaking to CIO, Chetan Dube, founder of AI systems maker IPSoft, said smart machines would manage the IT infrastructure of the future, and repetitive engineering tasks would be automated so that tech teams can focus on creativity.

Dube remarks on how these new forms of technology will create new roles in organizations.

“The introduction of AI will see the creation of new executives such as the Chief Data Intelligence Officer. These highly skilled workers will be able to filter and interpret the vast amounts of data stemming from automated procedures and transform it into valuable intelligence. The ability to see the bigger picture and spot trends and opportunities will become a key skill within IT, as it maximizes the varying abilities of both people and machines.”

How technology trends underpin opportunities for your business

The advisory firm estimates that big data can increase operating margins by up to 60 percent, suggests McKinsey. But, there’s a caveat.

Artificial intelligence“Several issues will have to be addressed to capture the full potential of big data…

"Organizations need not only to put the right talent and technology in place but also structure workflows and incentives to optimize the use of big data. Access to data is critical—companies will increasingly need to integrate information from multiple data sources...,” states a McKinsey analysis.

Technology trends like big data and AI will give businesses the power to do a deeper analysis of consumer behavior and to make data-driven management decisions.

To learn about one of the most promising types of AI, read our article about the applications of machine learning in business.

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