The Data Science Revolution

The Huffington Post launched in 2005, but had it done so 10 years prior, it would have met a very different audience. By 2005, the average reader was digitally savvy — spending lots of time online, communicating mainly through email and mobile phones, and engaging daily with social media. Yet this was before the likes of Siri, Google Now, and Waze came along. Today, we are more connected than ever, and rely on all kinds of smart machines on a daily basis. Computers may have started as linear tools used only by engineers for discrete tasks, but they have grown into versatile devices that support each of us in a distinct and exciting way.

And what’s ahead is still more exciting. In the next 10 years, we believe that computers will move beyond their current role as our assistants, and become our advisors. With their help, we’ll grapple with and solve some of the toughest issues facing the world today.

Once upon a time, computers were created with a singular purpose in mind: To churn through large data sets and find answers for specific questions, identifying the proverbial needle in a haystack of information. They still do this today — only at drastically faster speeds and levels of complexity. The twin powers of data science and machine learning have allowed us to hand off a growing number of time-intensive and tedious tasks, freeing us up for more valuable pursuits.

Consider the Fitbit. We could certainly track our physical activity by hand, but we wouldn’t do it as consistently and precisely as the wearable digital device programmed to do it for us. And consider self-driving cars. Moving the task of driving to a computer will liberate countless hours that we could spend on work, learning, or talking with friends and loved —> Read More