I recently returned to LA from a major Big Data conference in the silicon valley (Strata+Hadoop), the current center of the universe for technology. As usual after a major geek fest, my mind still races with endless possibilities. If you truly want software and technology to make the world a greener, cleaner, and safer place – now is a great time to be alive.
While I was there, I met some of the brains behind Google Brain – super cool. I designed a new data architecture for one of our products with a world-class Cassandraexpert. Holy crap batman, things go fast when you work with the best!
Truthfully, IMHO we are at the beginning of another technological tsunami that will disrupt many industries and change life as we know it. Driverless cars and intelligent foresight into the future with predictive analytics are examples of a world where big data, deep learning, and computers converge. A future where robots learn, evolve, and build smarter robots – proverbially right around the corner.
Below are some of my thoughts and observations about the future in general in a semi-ordered fashion:
Math is the new English
At one time, the affluent of the world taught their children French as a second language. The language of diplomacy. In the late 20th century, English was considered the language of business and commerce. People around the world taught their children English. It was a competitive advantage. The years have rolled by and now at the dawn of the 21st century – we are in world ruled by code. And to be great, Mathematics is now the best second language. It’s fundamental. For those who were good in math, this is cool a development. For those who can write code, queries and algorithms within a mathematical framework, you’ll be getting a lot of prizes in the future. Check please!
For those that weren’t so good in math, I see 2 choices. 1) Back to the books (or that internet thing) and study math. 2) Or start applying to law school or an MBA program – and look for another career.
Minds are great for creating ideas, not storing them
Great minds create new ideas that can then go out and change the world. And they don’t want to store data in their head. It reminds me of a great Einstein quote. “Never memorize something that you can look up.” Technology can do that for us and free us from the constraints of memory. Storage is cheap. Put it all up in the cloud. Save it. And then you can share it with the rest of us. That’s part of the new world. The ability to share data and information easily, quickly and seamlessly.
Geeks can dance
Seriously, I’ve seen it. You just have to give us free food, booze, music and a selfie stick. While I observed some odd mating rituals on the dance floor (the nervous tick, averted eyes and the ever popular awkward silence), it’s a fascinating study. And personally, as a tone-deaf dyslexic, I felt right at home. These are my people! And I detected absolutely no correlation between IQ and coordination, physical dexterity, natural rhythm or personal grooming and hygiene. And FYI: The model currently has a 92% confidence interval.
So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu – to Privacy as we knew it
The modern world is one where the concept of privacy is evolving. And it’s hard for many of us that are from the world afore the onslaught of technology and Millenniums. Essentially what we once knew as privacy, is gone. Our data, our profile, our demographics, our pictures, are all out in the open in the big blue sea. Gone forever and never to return. Everyone knows I’m from Michigan, live in California, like books and have a big nose. C’est la vie.
All in all, I remain a huge fan of science and technology. The twin engines of prosperity. Science helps us understand risk, what products to consume and how they impact our health and the environment. It is also the foundation of an innovative culture, which ultimately can make the world a better place.
Who could ask for anything more?