Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu and JD.com from China are in a global competition with Google/Alphabet, Apple, Facebook, Walmart and Amazon from the USA and SoftBank from Japan. All are agressively searching for talent, intellectual property, market share, logistics and supply chain technology, and presence all around the world. These leading tech-savvy companies have many things in common. Foremost, they are all in pursuit of global growth and the funding, technology and talent to propel that growth. And they all are investing in voice assistance and other forms of AI and robotics.
One of the recent cover stories of'The Economist' emphasized on the importance that data has been gaining, stating "the world's most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data." Machine learning, which is bringing about the most dramatic advancements in artificial intelligence, is a data intensive technique. Lots of data is required to create, test and train the AI. As AI is gaining importance in the business world, so is data. AI is being leveraged by financial firms to advice customers on their investment choices, automakers are using it to build autopilot systems, and virtual assistants similar to Siri, Cortana are being introduced.
The hyper-competitiveness of the e-commerce industry has turned it into one of the biggest drivers of technology innovation. Today, the need for differentiation and the pressure to discount is driving e-commerce companies to look more closely at big data innovations such as predictive and prescriptive analytics, as well as artificial intelligence solutions, to remain competitive. The challenge lies in vast amounts of data.
In its recently released fourth-quarter and full-year earnings report, NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) showed the world that it could continue to put up blockbuster revenue and earnings numbers. The company grew revenue 34% over the prior-year quarter, while data center revenue based on AI (artificial intelligence) produced triple-digit year-over-year growth for the seventh consecutive quarter. It also beat analysts' estimates on both its top and bottom lines to produce a record-setting quarter.
Almost two years ago, Google disclosed that it had built a slab of custom silicon called the tensor processing unit to improve its StreetView software's reading of street signs, the accuracy of its search engine algorithm, and the machine learning methods that it uses in dozens of other internet services.
Continuing Datamation's series on big data, Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence offerings from major cloud providers, it's time to switch gears from Microsoft Azure to Google Cloud Platform. And given the vast amounts of data that powers the search giant's services, it's only fitting to start with big data and analytics.