AI Plus Natural Language Tech Bring Analytics to the Masses


We are witnessing a fascinating change happening in analytics and across all industries. Novel immersive user experiences are just beginning to emerge that leverage artificial intelligence and human language. Natural Language Generation (NLG) is powering conversations between man and machine. NLG is empowering the masses.

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In the industrial age, humans operated pedals, gearshifts, wheels, and switches. Machines would provide feedback via gauges or signals. In the information age, humans have interacted with machines by typing, pointing, clicking, or touching a screen. In the immersive age, machines will be controlled with human gestures and voice. These changes in human computer experiences will influence exciting future analytics product designs. In fact, it is already happening.

(Image: pixone/iStockphoto)

(Image: pixone/iStockphoto)

NLG technology is inspiring an entirely new generation of analytics solutions and supplementing traditional ones. With NLG search user interfaces, users can interact with data just as they would a simple Google search. This popular capability found in Thoughtspot and other offerings streamline basic data analysis by allowing users to ask questions of their data.

Taking it one step further, NLG user interfaces with added voice text-to-speech (TTS) are popping up in analytics "bots". These solutions are enabled by technologies such as Alexa. Alexa is the Amazon service that allows humans to interact with devices using voice.

[Read the full blog post at InformationWeek]

Jen Underwood, Impact Analytix

Jen Underwood, founder of Impact Analytix, LLC, is a recognized analytics industry expert. She has a unique blend of product management, design and over 20 years of "hands-on" development of data warehouses, reporting, visualization and advanced analytics solutions. In addition to keeping a constant pulse on industry trends, she enjoys digging into oceans of data. Jen is honored to be an IBM Analytics Insider, SAS contributor, former Tableau Zen Master, and active analytics community member.

In the past, Jen has held worldwide product management roles at Microsoft and served as a technical lead for system implementation firms. She has launched new analytics products and turned around failed projects. Today she provides industry thought leadership, advisory, strategy, and market research.

Jen has a Bachelor of Business Administration - Marketing, Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and a post-graduate certificate in Computer Science - Data Mining from the University of California, San Diego.

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Re: Only more popular
  • 7/3/2017 8:54:19 PM
NO RATINGS

Yeah -- I would guess we're (THEY) are a lot closer to that reality than we might think. I always assumed government spying technology is leaps and bounds ahead. It seems like it might be easy to use pattern recognition to find these numbers since we use a certain cadence with each type.

Re: Only more popular
  • 7/3/2017 5:31:45 PM
NO RATINGS

..

Seth writes that "If you were writing a novel via voice recogintion you would have a sore throat after a while. "

Well, I am writing a novel using Dragon a lot of the time and I have no sore throat problems. However, I typically write just a few paragraphs at a time. I suppose I might at least get a bit hoarse if I kept going beyond that ...

...

Re: Only more popular
  • 7/3/2017 8:10:50 AM
NO RATINGS

The technology to pick keywords out of recorded text exists and has existed for quite some time.  About a decade ago I was doing recording, speech to text and tagging key words inside that text for call center operations.  I have no doubts that Amazon, Google, Apple and Microsoft are all building databases of keywords or phrases.  In their defense, they are probably building those lists to add features to their products.  The huge negative is that if someone with bad intentions gets ahold of those recordings it isn't difficult to start matching patterns and building a database of sensitive information. 

Re: Only more popular
  • 7/3/2017 12:09:23 AM
NO RATINGS

I just read another article that says while the devices are always listening, they are not recording until you say an activation word that wakes them up.  

But I have real doubts that because I've gone to my Google account and listend and saw hundreds of recordings that I didn't initiate.   They might say the device misinterpreted a sound as an activation word but I don't hear the people around me saying things that sound like "Ok Google" and so on. 

Re: Only more popular
  • 7/3/2017 12:03:12 AM
NO RATINGS

I wonder how easy or how close we are to searching voice recordings for specific words or patterns.  For instance could a search be done to pick up 9 digits in a row for a social security number or 16 digits in a row for a credit card number.  I imagine the NSA must have some type of technology when it is going over all our phone conversations.  

Re: Only more popular
  • 6/30/2017 11:50:53 PM
NO RATINGS

Ouch. I don't like thinking about such things. Do you ever unplug Alexa for privacy?

Re: Only more popular
  • 6/29/2017 8:34:04 AM
NO RATINGS

Agreed, I mentioned earlier about recording SSN, bank account info, etc.  I know that at least once a month in my house there's a conversation where personal info that could be used for identity theft is relayed across a room to fill out forms or log on to an online service.  I'm sure the Alexa DB is ripe with information that identity thieves would love to get their hands on.

Re: Only more popular
  • 6/28/2017 3:03:12 PM
NO RATINGS

I think people will be more comfortable talking to robots with it becomes easier on the voice.  For example speaking to your computer takes a bit more effort .  If you were writing a novel via voice recogintion you would have a sore throat after a while.  

I look at Amazon Alexa as putting a spying device right in your living room where any hacker of government can just listen in.   We already know that Google stores tons of audio recordings that were not initiated by users  that they say are used to improve their service. 

Re: Only more popular
  • 6/9/2017 8:14:56 AM
NO RATINGS

Millennials don't even like to talk to each other so I don't know that they would talk to a robot either.  I know a lot of our futurist media has us giving commands to computer via a voice interface but in practice I haven't seen it catching on.  The Xbox has included voice commands built in for years that turn it on/off or opens menus.  My nephews still push the power button because the voice command irritate them.  Even with applications like Siri or Cortana I see a lot of typing and not a lot of talking.  I don't know if this is a disconnect because it's a little weird to talk to a machine or if the technology isn't advanced enough that we consistently get good results speaking to a machine but I think voice interface to anything is going to take some time. 

Re: Only more popular
  • 6/8/2017 9:02:54 PM
NO RATINGS

..

SaneIT writes

 I could go on listing devices that are really just marketing devices placed in your home and disguised as personal assistants that have fizzled out over the years.  I think all of the "home" devices that are popping up right now fall into that category, most people don't want to talk to their devices yet so I think we have more than a few years before these are viable products.

A couple of things make me wonder whether viability of these devices might be closer than one would think. First, Alexa had a minor character role on the hit TV series Mr. Robot, which would seem to say something (though I'm not sure what). Second, one of our recent A2 discussions revealed that Millennials might seem to prefer to interact with robots rather than humans. If they're that drawn to gadgets over mundane everyday people (and presumably ordinary light switches and stuff), I'd suspect they will provide a major market for these new AI devices.

Gee, I'm starting to feel so obsolete ...

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