Buzzword shift

Many years ago, I tried to build something that today would have been called “Google Trends for Pubmed”. One thing that I’ve found during that process was how the emergence of HIV-related research reduced the number of cancer studies and how, several years later, the HIV research boom settled down, while letting the cancer research back.

I recalled about that project of mine when I took a look at the Google Trends data for, a once popular buzz-phrases, “data mining” and pattern recognition.  Sic transit gloria mundi.

Screenshot of Google Trends data for (in decreasing order): "Machine Learning" , "Data Science", "Data Mining", "Pattern Recognition"

It’s not surprising that “Data Science” was the less popular term in 2004. As I already mentioned, “Data Science” is a relatively new term. What does surprise me is the fact that in the past, “Machine Learning” was so less popular that “Data Mining”. Even more surprising is the fact that Google Trends ranks “Machine Learning” almost twice as high, as “Data Science”. I was expecting to see the opposite.

“Pattern Recognition,” that, in 2004, was as (not) popular as “Machine Learning” become even less popular today. Does that mean that nobody is searching for patterns anymore? Not at all. The 2004 pattern recognition experts are now machine learning professors senior data scientists or if they work in academia, machine learning professors.

PS: does anybody know the reason behind the apparent seasonality in “Data Mining” trends?

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