But artificial intelligence, it turns out, is so twentieth century.
The latest buzzword is “augmented intelligence” – the difference being that instead of leaving it up to computers to draw their own conclusions, augmented intelligence uses human analysts as well.
The trend has spawned a new occupation: data scientist. The first summit for data scientists was held in Las Vegas in May and if you’re thinking of retraining, or looking for a new career, you could do a lot worse. A recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) forecasts that by 2018 the United States alone could face a shortage of up to 190,000 data scientists and up to 1.5 million data-savvy managers and analysts.
MGI describes “big data” as the next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity, and suggests huge potential savings in sectors such as electronics, finance and insurance, and government.