It's impossible to understate the importance of data for the growth of AI/Ml models. These computer models need to use data to learn from and with the more data they're provided they, the more accurate they become. On the news, the term, Big Data, is said a lot and whether they know it or not, this data is being fed into these machine learning models.
The data is being used to determine and predict consumer habits, identify the spread of disease, find mistakes in accounting, purchase stocks. As long as the data exists, a machine learning algorithm can consume and make a prediction. This is why artificial intelligence programmers have become so important in the past decade, these massive companies are collecting billions and trillions of data points from their customers, systems, and employees and they need programmers that can take the data and create models that can make valuable insights from the data.
An interesting aspect of AI/ML is that since the models are inevitably just receiving an array of numbers, any model can be used with any type of data. The job of a professional AI programmer is not to master the mathematic of the model, but rather to learn which model is best employed to each problem.