Big Data, Search, and Artificial Intelligence: Quite a Mash Up

January 29, 2018

I read a consultant-technology mash up marketing essay. The write up is “Big Data and Search: The Time for Artificial Intelligence Is Now.” The write up is mostly jargon. I wonder if the engineer driving the word processing train pushed the wrong button.

Image result for train wreck

Here are the “keywords” I noted in the write up:

Artificial intelligence
Big Data
Business action and business use cases
Cognitive (presumably not the IBM which maybe doesn’t work as advertised)
Consumer services
Customer / citizen facing (some government speak too)
Digital assistants
False or biased results (yes, fake news)
Machine learning
Natural language processing
Real time results
SQL databases

Were there definitions, case examples other than references to consultants, and facts? Not that I could discern.

As I pointed out in CyberOSINT: Next Generation Information Access, search is little more than plumbing. Trying to make search into the headline act is likely to cost money and lead the the types of mistakes that Convera, Delphes Technology, Entopia, Fast Search & Transfer, Verity, and dozens of other vendors pitched aggressively before open source search “won” the game. (Case histories of some of the more unusual search and retrieval vendors are available without charge at

The next generation systems are platforms which combine content processing activities into a workflow which produces an outcome a human or other smart system can use to accomplish a task, either operational, physical, or mental.

The next generation approach to search and Big Data for that matter are embodied in software which is smart and fits into a work process and does not skew into “cognitive craziness.”

In short, the game has changed and the consulting techno jargon makes clear the gap between the search-centric approach from the 1990s to the next generation information methods of the most forward leaning companies. Jargon burns brightly but quickly.

Stephen E Arnold, January 29, 2018


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