There seems to be some confusion as to exactly what artificial intelligence (AI) is, and how the discipline of AI should be categorized. Is AI a form of analytics or is it a totally new discipline that is distinct from analytics? I firmly believe that AI is more closely related to predictive analytics and data science than to any other discipline. One might even argue that AI is the next generation of predictive analytics. Additionally, AI is often utilized in situations where it is necessary to operationalize the analytics process. So, in that sense, AI is also often pushing the envelope of prescriptive, operationalized analytics. It would be a mistake to say that AI is not a form of analytics.
AI’s Relationship to Predictive Analytics
Let’s review a few basic facts that help define predictive analytics and then look at how AI fits well within those bounds. At its core, predictive analytics is, naturally, about predicting something. Who will buy? Will certain equipment break? Which price will maximize profits? Each of these questions can be addressed by following a familiar workflow:
First, we identify a metric or state that we want to predict and gather historical information on that metric or state. For …