Businesses that use machine learning or another artificial intelligence face an important question: Does the application have enough data to achieve its objectives?
It’s important to have a sufficient set of data for much artificial intelligence (ai) applications. It can be difficult to gather enough data to support use cases. Some use cases may involve variables that can be difficult to test for through traditional means.
Synthetic data can be used to build models for manufacturing and supply chain management, as well as for developing processes for detecting fraud. According to the MIT Technology Review, synthetic data is one of the 10 breakthrough technologies of 2022.
Synthetic data is being used by businesses large and small to make sense of complex problems.
Synthetic data is based on real data from other sources. The goal is that the information is synthesized from real data sets to resemble original information while not using it, which is why it can either be structured within a database or unstructured.
The information can be directly produced from real data, but it can also be indirectly produced from a model, removing any connection to directly identifiable data sets.
Data models can be used in a variety of settings to help identify technical problems in areas such as engineering, financial services or healthcare. The National Institutes of Health is using a synthetic data set to improve its approach to researching the challenges facing COVID-19 patients.
Fernando Lucini, the global lead for data science and machine learning engineering at Accenture, says that there is potential for the technology across a range of other industries.
In protecting their data, healthcare organizations face unique threats.
How Does Synthetic Data Work?
Synthetic data is a substitute for real data that is used in similar ways.
Some use cases are enabled by this approach. It can be much faster than traditional data-gathering processes, according to a senior product marketing manager.
The idea is that you can create a really awesome model with synthetic data, bring in real data, and fine-tune it, and you’re off and running in production a lot faster. It is shortening that time to market for us.
Working with synthetic data in this way, called bootstrapping, carries a lot of potentials, especially for business intelligence, according to a solution architect with NVIDIA who focuses on visual simulation and deep learning. Synthetic data can be used to improve real data.
The widely reported use of augmented data in training self-driving vehicles was cited by Worker. There may be circumstances where it is difficult to account for real-world conditions, creating the potential for error, as automotive companies have worked heavily to train vehicles in real-world situations.
She says that the data may be in a sunny conditions, but not at night or in all of the other conditions. Synthetic data would fill the gaps in your data set.
Privacy concerns, as well as legal reasons, may prevent access to certain data. Data privacy can be maintained while addressing these issues with synthetic data. Microsoft built a synthetic data generator to detect human trafficking while not tracking personally identifiable information related to the subject being monitored. A model that nonprofits could use to assess the impact of human trafficking was created by this.
Microsoft explained on its website that it uses synthetic data to give a level of indirection.
You can create a really awesome model with synthetic data, bring in real data, fine-tune it, and you’re off and running in production a lot faster.”
The Senior Product Marketing Manager is an employee of the company.
For a given use case, synthetic data can be used to expand the data pool. Whether the goal is to build a full 3D visualization of a real-world setting, such as a factory where a complex array of machines work in unison, or to generate models for optimal trading in financial markets, the goal is to stretch the capabilities of the AI model.
Technical considerations may not be the only part of the discussion. Privacy considerations are a driver for the use of synthetic data in a specific context.
A data science group specializing in understanding customer behaviors would need large amounts of data to build its models. Because of privacy or other concerns, the process for getting access to that customer data is slow and doesn’t provide good enough data when it arrives because of extensive masking and redaction of information. Synthetic versions of the production data sets can be provided to the analysts.
El Emam believes that this will allow the data team to continue working quickly on a given task while getting around the limitations created by consumer privacy regulations such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act.
Ali Golshan, CEO and co-founder of Gretel says that it’s about deducing the larger patterns that inform us of data present, then generating unlimited amounts of that data with the same statistical distribution.
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Strategies to Build and Generate Synthetic Data
Organizations usually use processing resources to build synthetic data sets. This may be more than a single step. If the goal is to build a model that is not tied to an identifiable source, data will need to be trained to build a model that is not reflective of the real world.
Data that can be used for business intelligence and machine learning purposes can be developed with the help of cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services. The platforms can offer a greater capacity for heavy-duty processing on such problems as aggregating, categorizing, and modeling data.
Much of the work generating this data is based on the use of “graphics processing units,” as well as “parallel processing.”
Nowadays, synthetic data is getting more complex and sophisticated as the techniques used to generate it become more efficient. API solutions can be employed to create synthetic data on the fly.
NVIDIA has a line of software development vehicles that can be used to create vivid simulations. The latest line of tools, which is called Omniverse Replicator, was extended last year with a new innovative tool called The Omniverse Cloud Service tool. The software can be used to activate new and improve existing simulations for NVIDIA’s computing devices.
The worker says that Replicator is an interface that connects to the Omniverse. You can use a third-party tool or go directly to the replicator.
The ways in which organizations generate data to train it will get smarter with the advancement of artificial intelligence.