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Artificial Intelligence and Data Science: Innovation for Stronger Insights

Snowflake Snowday 2021

Becoming data-driven has long been a goal for nearly every organization in today’s world. Artificial intelligence is turbocharging modern data science, allowing organizations to arrive at meaningful insights faster and achieve their objectives. In this article, we’ll look at the synergy between artificial intelligence and data science, exploring the innovative ways data scientists are using AI to transform their capabilities.

Types of Artificial Intelligence for Data Science 

Data science can benefit from many types of algorithms and models. Pattern recognition, predictive models, and generative AI are responsible for some of the most significant advances in modern data science. 

Pattern recognition

AI pattern recognition refers to the use of machines to identify and analyze patterns within data. These artificial intelligence systems use algorithms and various techniques to detect regularities, trends, or structures in data. Pattern recognition is a foundational component of AI that data scientists use to understand, classify, and interpret data in various domains. Some key applications of pattern recognition include image, video, facial, and voice recognition technologies. This type of AI is used in a variety of ways, ranging from smartphone security to diagnosing cancer.

Predictive models

Accurately predicting outcomes is an essential capability for organizations in nearly every industry. It’s the next best thing to a crystal ball. Data scientists use artificial intelligence to build predictive models that analyze historical and current data to make informed predictions about future events or outcomes. 

One example of predictive models in action involves the collection and analysis of data gathered from Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensors mounted on manufacturing equipment in order to more accurately predict when maintenance will be needed. Retailers also rely heavily on this technology to anticipate changes in consumer demand for their products, helping them to streamline their inventory, supply chains, and logistics operations. 

Generative AI

Generative AI represents a significant step in the evolution of artificial intelligence technology. This type of AI moves beyond recognizing patterns and predicting outcomes to create original content. It uses algorithms and models to generate new data including images, videos, music, and text. 

The possibilities of generative AI extend far beyond Google Bard’s or ChatGPT’s ability to write a poem or provide vacation recommendations. Generative AI can be put to use in infinite ways. For example, AI models can assist researchers in identifying new drug candidates more efficiently. And generative AI can help retailers optimize their visual merchandising strategies by analyzing customer data and store layouts and generating virtual store simulations.

8 Ways Data Science Can Use Artificial Intelligence

The combination of artificial intelligence and data science is enabling organizations to extract value from data like never before. Here are eight specific ways data science leverages AI to create innovative solutions, drive informed decision-making, and help businesses realize the full potential of their data.

Data search and discovery

Generative AI is revolutionizing the data search experience. By unlocking conversational paradigms, data scientists can ask questions and retrieve information in ways not possible with conventional search. With generative AI, data users can quickly and precisely pinpoint the right data asset or data insight, allowing them to leverage the full value of their data to solve complex business problems.

Data analysis and pattern recognition

AI techniques including machine learning and deep learning allow data scientists to quickly and efficiently analyze vast amounts of data. They can identify patterns, correlations, and trends that would be difficult or impossible to detect using other technologies. Examples include deep learning models such as autoencoders or recurrent neural networks. These models are capable of learning complex patterns and dependencies within the data and are used in image denoising and compression, speech recognition, and other applications. With these tools, data scientists can develop a deeper understanding of the data and how it can be used to inform business-critical decisions.

Data imputation 

Real-world data is often incomplete. When conducting data analysis, missing data can introduce a significant degree of bias, making it more challenging for data scientists to produce accurate results. In order to solve this problem, data scientists use data imputation, a process that replaces missing or incomplete data with estimated values. AI can effectively generate precise and accurate synthetic data that improves the quality of an existing dataset.  

Data generation and augmentation

Machine learning models require an enormous amount of training data. Artificial intelligence can be used to improve data augmentation, a technique that’s used to increase the diversity and number of examples in a training set. This process uses existing data to generate modified copies of a dataset, resulting in more diverse and representative training data for machine learning models.

Predictive analytics

AI algorithms can be used to build predictive models to forecast future outcomes. Predictive analytics is the practical application of predictive modeling to solve business challenges. Predictive analytics involves several types of models, including:

  • Classification models predict whether a target (such as a customer) is likely to perform a particular action (such as respond favorably to an offer) or not. 

  • Decision trees are classification models that partition data into subsets based on categories of input variables to provide an understanding of someone’s path of decisions. 

  • Regression models predict numbers and estimate relationships among variables, finding patterns in data sets to determine which factors influence outcomes. 

  • Neural networks model complex relationships between data. 

Natural Language Processing (NLP)

NLP is a subset of AI that focuses on helping computers understand and process the way humans speak and write. Data scientists use NLP to extract information from unstructured text data such as emails, business records, and audio and video recordings. It’s also used to perform sentiment analysis, which is the process of using computers to identify and classify affective states such as emotions and other subjective information.

Computer vision

AI-powered computer vision provides data scientists with a means for acquiring, processing, analyzing, and interpreting visual data, such as images and videos. By enabling machines to derive meaningful information from high-dimensional data, computer vision is an essential part of tasks such as object detection, image classification, facial recognition, and autonomous driving.

Automation and optimization

AI can automate lower-level steps in the data science workflows such as data preparation and visualization. By eliminating repetitive and time-consuming tasks, data scientists can focus on higher-level work such as building machine learning models and interpreting data-driven insights for business decision-makers.

Snowflake: Bringing Generative AI to the Data Cloud

Snowflake is bringing the power of generative AI to data. With generative AI and LLMs, teams can discover precisely the right data point, data asset, or data insight, making it possible to maximize the value of their data. 

That’s why Snowflake has recently acquired three companies that are helping bring advanced AI and deep learning to the AI Data Cloud:

  • Neeva, a search company founded to make search even more intelligent at scale. Neeva created a unique and transformative search experience that leverages generative AI and other innovations to allow users to query and discover data in new ways.
  • Streamlit, which developers use as their go-to platform to experiment and build LLM-powered, generative AI apps.
  • Applica, which uses deep learning to sort information, regardless of data type.

Learn more: Using Snowflake and Generative AI to Rapidly Build Features