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AI Goes Mainstream: The Disruption of Data Analytics by Generative AI

Joanna He
Senior Director, Product Growth
Jul. 18, 2023

Imagine a world where you could converse with your computer as naturally as you would with a human. A world where you could ask your computer to analyze complex data sets, generate reports, or even clean your data, all in your own words. This is no longer the stuff of science fiction. Thanks to the groundbreaking advancements in generative AI, this is our reality.


The world of AI has been on a wild ride, but the public release of OpenAI's conversational bot, ChatGPT, on November 30, 2022, truly took things to a fever pitch. With its uncanny ability to mimic human conversation, ChatGPT quickly became the fastest-growing product ever. The experience of interacting with ChatGPT was reminiscent of the first time users interacted with Google in the late nineties or the iPhone when it first came out. It was a glimpse into an exponential future.


Bill Gates says what’s been happening in AI in the last 12 months is “every bit as important as the PC or the interne”. Jensen Huang, the CEO of Nvidia, called ChatGPT the "iPhone moment" for AI during a speech he gave at Berkeley Haas University on February 13, 2023.

Jensen Huang, the CEO of Nvidia, called ChatGPT the "iPhone moment" for AI during a speech he gave at Berkeley Haas University on February 13, 2023.

The hype around AI is not unfounded. Generative AI has crossed a major chasm, moving from a theoretical concept to a practical tool with wide-ranging applications. The maturity of large models like ChatGPT has brought generative AI into the mainstream, opening up new possibilities in various fields, including data analytics.


In this article, we delve into the transformative impact of generative AI on data analytics and human-computer interaction, explore the challenges it presents, and look ahead to the exciting future of this technology.


The Disruptive Impact of Generative AI on Human-Computer Interaction


The advent of generative AI has brought about a paradigm shift in human-computer interaction. We are moving from the era of Command Line Interfaces (CLI) and Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) to a future dominated by Language User Interfaces (LUI). This shift is lowering the threshold for data analysis, making it accessible to everyone.


In the era of CLI, users interacted with computers by typing precise commands into a terminal. GUI introduced a more visual approach, where users could interact with graphical elements like buttons, menus, and icons using a mouse or touch. However, both these methods require a certain level of technical knowledge and familiarity with the system.


LUI, on the other hand, allows users to interact with computers in a more intuitive and natural way - through language. With LUI, you can simply ask the computer to perform a task in your own words, and the generative AI model will understand your request and carry out the task. For example, instead of manually writing a SQL query to extract specific data from a database, you could just ask, "Show me the sales figures for the last quarter," and the AI model would generate and execute the appropriate SQL query on your behalf.

The advent of generative AI has brought about a paradigm shift in human-computer interaction

The advent of generative AI has brought about a paradigm shift in human-computer interaction, and it's also changing how we work. We're evolving towards a co-working model where AI models work alongside humans as "pair programmers" or "pair artists."The overall trend is further lowing the barrier for people to leverage computer / AI to assist humans to do better with what they are doing, that is, augmenting human capabilities rather than replacing them.


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From Queries to Conversations: The Evolution of Data Analysis with AI


The advent of generative AI is not just changing the way we analyze data, but also how we interact with it. The shift towards Language User Interfaces (LUI) is making data analysis more intuitive and accessible.


For instance, consider a business analyst who wants to understand sales trends. In the past, they would need to write complex SQL queries or use a specialized data analysis tool. With the advent of LUI, they can ask the AI system in natural languages, such as "What were the sales trends for the last quarter?" or "Show me the top-performing products in the last month." The AI system then translates this request into code, performs the analysis, and presents the results in a user-friendly format.


Another example is in the field of data cleaning. Data cleaning can be a tedious and time-consuming process. However, with generative AI, users can simply instruct the AI system to clean the data. For example, a user could say, "Remove any rows with missing values" or "Replace all instances of 'N/A' with zero," and the AI system would carry out these tasks.


This new form of interaction extends to other areas, such as data visualization and report generation. For instance, a user could ask the AI system to "Create a bar chart showing sales by region" or "Generate a report on customer demographics," and the AI system would fulfill these requests.


Moreover, generative AI makes it easier to search voice data, share insights, and use them to drive business value. For example, it's possible to understand how many angry phone calls a call center received and whether a representative's empathetic treatment of a customer-led to increased sales.


Leveraging Natural Language Processing (NLP), generative AI can also understand unstructured data such as notes, assigning a qualitative assessment indicating the likelihood the insured driver was at fault. Another capability we're starting to see is that NLP can fill in missing information that might be in the claim adjuster's notes but was never included in the structured data.


This shift results in what some experts call “data democratization”: the ability for more people to have access to data sets formerly reserved only for those with the advanced skills needed to interpret it.


However, this new form of interaction also brings with it certain risks. The potential for misuse or error increases as AI systems become more integrated into our daily tasks. It's crucial that these risks are addressed and mitigated through robust security measures, careful system design, and user education.


Conclusion: The Dawn of a New Era in Data Analytics


Generative AI is not just a new tool in our technological arsenal; it's a game-changer that's set to revolutionize data analytics and human-computer interaction. By automating complex tasks and making data analysis more accessible, it has the potential to drive significant improvements in efficiency and productivity. However, as with any powerful technology, it also presents several challenges that need to be addressed, including data security, bias, and accuracy issues.


As we stand on the brink of this new era, we must ask ourselves: How will we harness the power of generative AI responsibly? How will we ensure that it benefits all of humanity and not just a select few? These questions will define our future as we navigate the uncharted waters of this exciting new frontier.


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