Attached below is the link to an excellent article on data analytics and AI.
It is scary to think of the future. Big data has been made possible with the ubiquity of computing networks and data collecting mechanisms, and the increasingly cheaper outlay required on computing resources. Now it is humans that write programs to make the computers understand and extract sense from that pile of meaningless data. The humans provide the sense, the computers the power, and we control the way it evolves. Starting with the steam engine it has been the same story - where the machines were "dumb" and acted only as a force multiplier to efforts directed by sentient humans.
But now, all that is set to change, or rather is already changing. The computers are getting equipped to make sense of the piles of data passing through them, and they are set to continuously learn. Couple this with advances in another field, robotics, and what do you get? The computers are of course guiding the robots which are getting increasingly sophisticated, and soon they will also have enough intelligence to completely take over. The driverless cars are already a reality, but we tell them where to go. Soon, they will decide where to go on their own. Ditto with assembly line robots in factories. If the smart home today can order groceries on its own through the sensors in the refrigerator talking to the phone, which in turn is linked to the grocer's shop, which can then send pilotless drones to drop the stuff you need (think Amazon) and deliver it to your house, how long before the robots in the factory decide what to manufacture on their own? Data on designs will of course be resident on the computers, and the 3-D printers will take care of the rest. Talking of 3D printers, they are printing human organs using live cells already. How long before they print entire humans? The only thing missing is the brains, but then AI will soon take care of that. The resultant humans can of course be programmed with superhuman capabilities, or in a scene out of Huxley's Brave New World, be programmed for highly specialized specific tasks. The overall control and coordination will of course rest with the computers.
And soon after that the computers will band together - they already can since they are anyway all linked - elect their own king, and enslave all the humans. Thankfully, I shall be dead by then.
( see http://goo.gl/GWXue5 for the article "Learning and the future of Analytics")