Using algorithms to help make better decisions has been the "next big thing in analytics" for over 25 years. It has been used in key areas such as fraud the entire time. But it's now become a full-throated mainstream business meme that features in every enterprise software keynote - although the industry is battling with what to call it.
It appears that terms like Data Mining, Predictive Analytics, and Advanced Analytics are considered too geeky or old for industry marketers and headline writers. The term Cognitive Computing seemed to be poised to win, but IBM's strong association with the term may have backfired - journalists and analysts want to use language that is independent of any particular company. Currently, the growing consensus seems to be to use Machine Learning when talking about the technology and Artificial Intelligence when talking about the business uses.