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Silver Blog, May 2017Machine Learning overtaking Big Data?


Is Machine Learning is overtaking Big Data?! We also examine trends for several more related and popular buzzwords, and see how BD, ML. Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, and Deep Learning rank.



Big Data surged in popularity both as a field and as a popular buzzword around 2011.

However, lately is has been losing its luster and Gartner in 2015 removed Big Data from its Hype Curve, replacing it with Machine Learning.

We note that 2012 KDnuggets Poll asked When will Big Data go out of fashion, and the median prediction was 2015, so KDnuggets readers were on target (although they expected Smart Data to replace Big Data, not Machine Learning).

Is "Machine Learning" now more popular than "Big Data"?

We investigate this using Google Trends.

Looking at the last 5 years, May 2012 - Apr 2017, worldwide, Big Data vs Machine Learning on Google Trends, we see that "Machine Learning" popularity is growing faster, and just this week (Apr 30 - May 6, 2017), the search volume for Machine Learning matched Big Data search volume for the first time!

Google Trends for Big Data, Machine Learning, Worldwide, April 2017
Fig. 1: Google Trends, May 2012 - April 2017, Worldwide

"Big Data" vs "Machine Learning" search terms worldwide
The drops in search volume correspond to Christmas/New Year holiday periods.

If we limit the comparison just to United States, we see that "Machine Learning" already overtook "Big Data" around October 2016.

Google Trends Big Data, Machine Learning, USA, April 2017
Fig. 2: Google Trends, May 2012 - April 2017, USA

"Big Data" vs "Machine Learning" search terms

Finally, we also add 3 other popular search terms: "Artificial Intelligence", "Data Science", and "Deep Learning", and examine Google Trends for BD, ML, AI, DS, and DQ, worldwide, from May 1, 2012 to Apr 30, 2017.

Google Trends, Big Data, Machine Learning, AI, Data Science, Deep Learning, April 2017
Fig. 3: Google Trends, May 2012 - April 2017, Worldwide

"Big Data" vs "Machine Learning" vs "Artificial Intelligence" vs "Data Science" vs "Deep Learning" search terms.

We note that Deep Learning is still less popular than the other 4 terms, although it is growing faster.

In 2012, 2013, and 2014 the ranking of the top 4 terms were
  1. Big Data
  2. Artificial Intelligence
  3. Machine Learning
  4. Data Science

In 2015 Machine Learning overtook "Artificial Intelligence" and moved to the second place, and in 2016 "Data Science" caught up to Artificial Intelligence and shares 3-4th place.

Let me know what you think!

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