Deep Learning is the New Refinery

Last month, I quoted Aleksandra Zimonjic, an attorney with the Los Angeles law firm of Landau Gottfried & Berger LLP, for her quip about what Intraspexion does. She said, “Oh, I see. Better a toothbrush than a drill.”

That was amazing and, after thinking about it, I can only add a dimension of time:

“It’s better to use a toothbrush daily than a face a dentist’s drill even once a year.”

This month I attended the joint meeting, in Seattle no less, of the Institute for Legal Reform of the United States Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber’s recent initiative to focus on Emerging Technologies. 

One of the speakers said something like “Big Data is the new oil.” I made this connection then and I’m writing it here:

“If Big Data is the new oil, deep learning is the new refinery.”

It makes sense, right? In a previous Revolution, oil was rare and valuable because so many technologically advances could be made with it. The race was on to find it.

Now we’re in the era of Big Data and the Data Lake has become the Data Ocean.

It’s turning out that while oil was hard to find, Big Data is overwhelmingly present. And while Big Data also can be used for valuable technological (and other) advances, it’s so ever-present that we need tools to extract the business insights that matter.

Of course, the business insights that matter for a company’s bottom line are the ones that either drive revenue up or drive costs down. 

Intraspexion is one type of New Refinery because we use Deep Learning to monitor yesterday’s emails to find the risks of tomorrow’s lawsuits. We can avoid (or mitigate) those lawsuits only if we see the risks coming over the horizon.

And, like the ballistic missile early warning system (BMEWS) I heard so much about in decades now gone by, I can at least accept the notion that an early warning system of a bad thing is a good thing.  

I think the elements for all New Refineries are three: hardware, software, and applications that provide valued insights (which we call “business intelligence”).

Currently, the hardware consists of computers that combine Computing Processing Units (CPUs) with graphics processing units (GPUs), and which are optimized to run Deep Learning (DL) algorithms for applications (A) that matter.

To summarize: the New Refineries consist of CPUs + GPUs + DL + As.

We’ve barely scratched the surface of this Fourth Industrial Revolution. I’ll write about the phase I see on the horizon and give you an “early warning” about it in my next post.