Efficient data analytical tools set to empower governments with predictive decision-making capabilities

DUBAI, 10th February, 2015 (WAM)–Governments will soon be able to utilise the predictive capabilities of data analytical tools to eliminate traffic jams, ensure public safety or prevent outbreak of diseases, said Dr. Bernard S. Meyerson, Vice President of Innovation at IBM USA, on the second day of the Government Summit in Dubai today.

Addressing a session titled ‘Meet Mr. Watson: How Artificial Intelligence Can Improve Government Services’, Dr. Meyerson said technology is driving a huge surge in data which can no longer by handled by human beings.

“The current volume of data is exceedingly large. Interestingly, 90 per cent of this data did not exist just two years back. New analytical tools are required to ensure that all the available data is accounted for,” Dr. Meyerson said.

IBM’s Watson, an artificial intelligence computer system, is capable of utilising the vast data to make predictive analysis like never before. What makes Watson special is that it is capable of cognitive learning, which means that the system is capable of getting trained, much like a human being. Watson’s data analysis potential in areas such as cancer detection is huge as can be estimated from the fact that it can analyse 3500 text books and 4000 other data in just in 17 seconds.

Dr. Myerson said cognitive system can take questions from users to analyse possible interpretation and potential answers, ranking them on the basis of most probable to least probable.

Cognitive system as displayed by Watson can be useful in provision of services in the public sector such as citizen self-service, law enforcement, litigation support as well as in medical support and scientific research, Dr. Myerson said.

With artificial intelligence enabled systems bringing enormous capabilities in analyzing Big Data, the information technology sector and governments have a responsibility to enable result-oriented solutions to create a smarter planet, Dr. Myerson added.

Watson made headlines in 2011 when it beat human rivals on popular American television game show Jeopardy to win the first prize of $1 million.

In another session titled, ‘Bring the Future to Your Customers: How Robots Could Help Governments Deliver Better Services’, Bruno Maisonnier, CEO of Aldebaran Robotics, said the huge leap in robotics is making robots more accessible and affordable.

“Soon every home will have a robot just as Bill Gates saw ‘A computer on every desk and in every home’ just a few years back. Robots will play a big role in collecting Big Data and analyzing them to improve the life of people,” Maisonnier said.

Robotics will make it possible to provide data which can be used to enhance their services in health, education and several real life situations. However, with big data come big risks related to privacy issues, said Maisonnier.

“The future of robots is in their role as well intentioned digital friends functioning on ethical rules for the benefit of people,” Maisonnier said.

Organised under the theme ‘Shaping Future Governments’, the Government Summit in Dubai is being held from February 9 to 11, 2015, to discuss the future of government services in the world.

A session by Prof. Carlo Ratti, Director of MIT SENSEable City Lab, presented vivid insights on how cities and governments can benefit from every data data. He highlighted how opportunistic, user generated and purposely sensed big data will help bring about tangible aancements in everyday life.