Four Companies That Successfully Manage Big Data
When it comes to data management Down Under, companies both large and small are turning to big data to get the job done. From analyzing massive sets of data to taking advantage of all the helpful information proper data management provides, big data is really helping Aussie companies optimize their digital worlds. With data integration in mind, here's a look at big data in Australia's business world:
Big Data Trends in Australia
Industries all across the world are jumping on the big data bandwagon and Australia is no exception. Australian businesses are quickly discovering the benefits of optimized data management and they're willing to spend big to have the big data ball in their court. In fact, according to Tata Consultancy Services, Australia is leading the pack in terms of companies investing in big data technology.
Aussie companies spent a whopping $50 million per company on big data in 2012 alone. Although this may not seem like a huge number, the median worldwide big data spending average per company is $10 million. Australia joins the Netherlands, Japan, and the United Kingdom in spending above average amounts on big data. With big data's management capabilities and analytics taking the business world by storm, the investment seems to be paying off.
Aussie Companies Already Using Big Data
Australian companies aren't wasting any time adopting big data into their business systems. From small companies to major corporations, as the following article shows, Australia's business world already knows “How to unlock big data's big potential" in some pretty exciting ways. Here are just a few Aussie companies taking advantage of big data:
Commonwealth Bank of Australia: The CBA has already discovered the benefits that big data analytics provides. Considered one of Australia's big four banks, the CBA is using big data to examine endless volumes of customer data to better serve their financial needs.
Woolworths Australia: Taking a big leap into the big data game, Woolworths of Australia is investing a quarter of a billion dollars into its big data endeavors in order to better analyze its consumers' online and in-store spending habits.
Australia Post: Australia's largest postal service is using big data's analytics services to better track its customers' spending habits, which will help the company optimize its marketing campaigns.
Telstra: One of Australia's largest cellular and mobile providers is also taking advantage of everything big data has to offer. Telstra is improving its marketing strategies and customer service by analyzing massive amounts of consumer data in real time.
Benefits of Big Data
From collecting and managing ever-expanding data sets to processing data across multiple platforms, there are a number of built-in benefits that go along with big data. But, in the eyes of Australian companies, the biggest asset of big data is its analytics capabilities.
With big data analytics, companies like the ones mentioned above can take untold amounts of raw data and turn it into valuable business insights on an informational level. Without big data analytics, that same data wouldn't be analyzed, but rather stored away where it can't do the company any good.
When it comes to managing and analyzing business data, Aussie companies are well ahead of the technology trend.
About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including computer technology and data management.
Chinese Firm Taigusys Launches Emotion-Recognition System
In a detailed investigative report, the Guardian reported that Chinese tech company Taigusys can now monitor facial expressions. The company claims that it can track fake smiles, chart genuine emotions, and help police curtail security threats. ‘Ordinary people here in China aren’t happy about this technology, but they have no choice. If the police say there have to be cameras in a community, people will just have to live with it’, said Chen Wei, company founder and chairman. ‘There’s always that demand, and we’re here to fulfil it’.
Who Will Use the Data?
As of right now, the emotion-recognition market is supposed to be worth US$36bn by 2023—which hints at rapid global adoption. Taigusys counts Huawei, China Mobile, China Unicom, and PetroChina among its 36 clients, but none of them has yet revealed if they’ve purchased the new AI. In addition, Taigusys will likely implement the technology in Chinese prisons, schools, and nursing homes.
It’s not likely that emotion-recognition AI will stay within the realm of private enterprise. President Xi Jinping has promoted ‘positive energy’ among citizens and intimated that negative expressions are no good for a healthy society. If the Chinese central government continues to gain control over private companies’ tech data, national officials could use emotional data for ideological purposes—and target ‘unhappy’ or ‘suspicious’ citizens.
How Does It Work?
Taigusys’s AI will track facial muscle movements, body motions, and other biometric data to infer how a person is feeling, collecting massive amounts of personal data for machine learning purposes. If an individual displays too much negative emotion, the platform can recommend him or her for what’s termed ‘emotional support’—and what may end up being much worse.
Can We Really Detect Human Emotions?
This is still up for debate, but many critics say no. Psychologists still debate whether human emotions can be separated into basic emotions such as fear, joy, and surprise across cultures or whether something more complex is at stake. Many claim that AI emotion-reading technology is not only unethical but inaccurate since facial expressions don’t necessarily indicate someone’s true emotional state.
In addition, Taigusys’s facial tracking system could promote racial bias. One of the company’s systems classes faces as ‘yellow, white, or black’; another distinguishes between Uyghur and Han Chinese; and sometimes, the technology picks up certain ethnic features better than others.
Is China the Only One?
Not a chance. Other countries have also tried to decode and use emotions. In 2007, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) launched a heavily contested training programme (SPOT) that taught airport personnel to monitor passengers for signs of stress, deception, and fear. But China as a nation rarely discusses bias, and as a result, its AI-based discrimination could be more dangerous.
‘That Chinese conceptions of race are going to be built into technology and exported to other parts of the world is troubling, particularly since there isn’t the kind of critical discourse [about racism and ethnicity in China] that we’re having in the United States’, said Shazeda Ahmed, an AI researcher at New York University (NYU).
Taigusys’s founder points out, on the other hand, that its system can help prevent tragic violence, citing a 2020 stabbing of 41 people in Guangxi Province. Yet top academics remain unconvinced. As Sandra Wachter, associate professor and senior research fellow at the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute, said: ‘[If this continues], we will see a clash with fundamental human rights, such as free expression and the right to privacy’.