Don’t be so scared of AI and new Tech

The fault lines are widening but is this phenomenon new? Haven’t we seen it all before?

I read a lot of debates happening on the web and at coffee breaks and even at the company senior stakeholder meetings about applied AI is around the corner and the revolution will sweep away the way we work and major workforce redundancies are about to happen. The more you get involved in those discussions the magnitude grows and this leads for many of us to get anxious about theirs’ and their kids’ future.

The innovation cycle

I got a chance to attend a talk from some of the first project managers from baby boomer generation and the challenges he talked about made me wonder how forgetful we are with our collective societal memory of how we as workforce are evolving. It is a cycle that we’re repeating every generation or two. He was talking about how when first enterprise software were made, the clerical jobs (which was the biggest employment sector at the time) took a hit and many people raised the slogans to get the employee unions to protest against the software movement.

By his own admittance, he told us the stories about how the weavers who got the first weaving machines during the early stages of mechanization of work were threatened and so were the stable owners when cars manufacturing became mainstream, and how the warfare industry changed with the discovery of gunpowder which took the sword fighting away. The swordsmen literally lost their lives not just livelihood.

With the advent of every new industrial advancement, the threat to existing jobs come along, but so are the new opportunities. People desist change, and are scared to come out of the comfort zone, but more we realize this quicker, more ready we’ll be to brace the impact. Yes the cycle of innovation is getting short hence the impact on the generations will be more and more as it was before. In a connected world like ours, any technological advancement spreads like wildfire.

Adoption of new technology now happens in a year or less than previously when western world was decades ahead than developing world. So what different people bring to the table now are not only the new technological breakthroughs but also the new use cases for the technology that the inventor never even imagined.

Industry shift in past 18 years

During the turn of the millennium, the tech revolution rode on the wave of Y2K bug which got a lot of ERP solutions to think not only the date issue but also triggered the modularization of the monolith ERP systems. Databases became more redundant as datawarehousing wave kicked in 2004. Once, datawarehouses became common, the MIS solutions transformed into Business Intelligence solutions. By 2010 we were beaming with SOA, CORBA and SOAP architectures people starting moving towards Business Insights rather than mere data mining and Business Intelligence suites.

This Business insights wave was supported by the API architecture and open source of open community code libraries which kicked off the Python & R adoption in big way, and what we see now is the extension of the same with mathematical & statistical models that are driving the current data centric approach of many organizations under the jazzy word of Machine learning.

Future is HERE!!!

With RPA & AI making big noise, the real adoption at the ground level is giving mixed feedbacks. AI today is the biggest buzzword and marketing mantra but what it really entails the real industry experts know. We still are some distance away from really getting benefitted from it but yes with the shortened adoption cycles, this distance may be covered sooner than expected. We’ve got the autonomous driving cars from almost 7-10 different companies and society is starting to accept that.

Total Recall (released in 1990’s) was a movie I still remember that has an autonomous taxi ferrying Arnold across the street and I Robot’s famous dialog “Ghost in machines” is what I felt when the news broke that Google put a temporary halt on the AI chatbots as 2 AI chatbots when interacted started to develop their own lingo & communication language. But we’re still far away from the Terminator.

I believe 2020 is a breakthrough year for our generation. As many touted 2000 was. Telecom industry is waiting eagerly for 5G to hit the market soon and by 2020 the adoption rates may start seeing some critical mass. Our next generation of solutions, apps and ecosystems will get redefined, as wit was what done by 4G when we moved from 3G to 4G. Imagine a bandwidth that can stream a 4K resolution movie on the go instead of software to buffer it beforehand.

Imagine 5G triggering the new wave of OS to process the request on the fly and provide in memory processing of data and querying. The cloud solutions will get a transformation. The data storage will get even cheaper and availability of data might get to the levels of High Availability standards by default. The idea of Smart city may not seem that daunting then. When your IOT sensors will be always ON and standards of Bluetooth also get a kick to work at the next level to support huge data transfers and lower battery consumptions.

Yes I digressed from the main topic in my last paragraph, but that’s how excited I am for the future that lies ahead. Can’t wait to see the new dawn of technology soon.

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