Featured Post

Bits, Bytes, Perspectives and Prognostications

Let me start by welcoming you to my writings.   I don't claim to be a technical writer, but I have certainly paid my dues in words and ...

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Connected Next Century

Created by Rawpixel.com - Freepik.com

A few years back I wrote a paper at a previous company for their centennial celebration as a way of reflecting forward.  At the time I was working in the office of the CTO, and Strategy, a small brilliant collection of some of the companies best talent, trying to effect change from within.  Since then I have created a tome to of my predictions and course corrections as the related markets change.   The scope was limited to the company's core businesses, but my interests and experiences before and since are have more breadth.


To attempt to predict the 12 months or 12 years in terms of technological innovation is not as easy as it might seem. The global market is made of many segments, cultures, and dreams.   As with any reading of the proverbial tea leaves, the future is a function of the current state of mind. The rear-view mirror of technology history reveals many things. Looking back, not just in a museum or drawer of old things, but in our memories and what didn't work and maybe even why. For the older crowd, those who remember the Atari 800, the TRS-80, the Timex Sinclair, BASIC, and the original tape drive RAM, how we got here is a product of blending, shedding, and evolution. Having a past means a culture and a tribal knowledge, with such memory we have the benefit of possibility so long as we don't insist in repeating the past  As with any reading of the proverbial tea leaves, the future is a function of the current state of mind. Where we are, as a race, as a culture, as a group, and as individuals is where our potential future lies. External factors like innovation, entrepreneurialism, Moore’s law, and lot of desperation luck all play a role in our technological DNA evolution. Our ability to adapt for another century will be dependent on our willingness to recognize new talent, new ideas, and nurture our organic creativity to take the leaps, cross the thresholds, and convince others to risk the capital.  If you ask an average every day millennial what is important, the answers will be incongruent with adjacent generations, and while this is not unexpected, it needs to be understood. New ideas without knowledge of the consumer is a phenomenal way to demonstrate hollow cash burn. However, this is not a study in generational behavior, but to guesstimate the future requires a understanding of the arc of the puck.

Our future, if based on the recent past, hints that our now ubiquitous digital information age will evolve into the next something new, waiting for an economist or sociologist to assign it a name. But names do not make an age, nor a generation, those are left for people to define how new ideas weave into the fabric of our lexicon and transparent behaviors. If we look to the here and now, the current creative and technological vectors, we can begin to paint a picture of where we are going.  We long ago crossed into the digital age, and are now a few evolutions of Mr. Moore’s law into the data age. Data awareness is a step function to data driven, and that plane opens up machine learning and real autonomous automation, empowered by artificial intelligence. We are species that both embraces the ambient, but also fears the unknown. Our ideas of AI, sadly are more dystopian than utopian. Leave it to Hollywood to frame the known and fanatical world of both artificial and the augmented. We need to face our fears, because the innovative are not going to take the time to calm them.

As we stand at the dawn of the next era of technology, we see that the digital dependency on compute resources is being pulled into the vortex of physical evolving into a meta virtual economy. What were once rooms filled with thousands of cycles of compute, became millions sitting on our desks, at the edge in our homes, and billions in our pocket. Such a logarithmic growth in compute could not remain creatively untapped. It did not take long before someone realized that we could go back in time architecturally to go forward technologically. By democratizing the compute of disparate unrelated services and underused global compute, virtualization could maximize CPU cycles to do more than before. Containers, cloud compute algorithms, connected things, smart everything, and blending of our digital lives, into one sphere, the ecosystems are converging - at the edge -  pushing the bow wave.  Virtual and augmented immersions are just the first powerful uses cases that are going to drive the distribution glass, and the last mile or few meters are going to upend our day to day with no latencies.  Empowered by high speed wireless, the data center is become antiquated. While there is not a technological law that describes this, there is unwritten the acknowledgement that technology architecture tends to repeat itself over time, and the spoils are left to the innovative. 

The rest of the paper was in sections, each treating a different topic, some esoteric, others mainstream.  I will break apart the sections and repost with updates here as discrete entries so you can skip over any you find uninteresting.


No comments:

Post a Comment