News and views from this week in tech. What inspired and encouraged, shocked and appalled? Here’s our top 10.
1. Living In A Computer Simulated World
We kick off this week with a mind-boggler of an article. That scientists have discovered that it’s impossible to model the physics of our universe on even the biggest computer.
And that we’re probably NOT living in some sort of computer simulation.
You don’t say!
On the one hand scientists and philosophers have for years suggested that a simulated universe is possible, and yet others say we “won’t ever be able to prove definitively that we’re not in a simulation, because any evidence we collect could itself be simulated evidence.”
The conclusion is right, it is exhausting to even think about – “but somebody has to do the work of figuring out what’s real.”
Really? Or is this just keeping people in a job?
2. Regulating Facebook
When companies get too big for their boots. The must read this week. A brilliant discussion on a) how Facebook has changed face and b) to what extent it acts like some sort of chameleon, to avoid, sneer at or creep to regulators, depending on it’s current predicament.
Love this, “something changed… Facebook was being implicated as potentially harmful to the systems within which it had thrived, and with which it had sought to identify itself.”
Very true! I mentioned something along these lines last week. That once these companies get to a certain stage they cross the line from liberating freedom of speech to dictating non-democratic communications.
3. Beyond The Cloud
The cloud is an ever-present in our weekly tech news roundup, such is it’s preeminence as a mega tech trend. I would go so far as to say that it is no longer even a trend, more a staple of every enterprise infrastructure, strategy and concept on which new tech trends are formed.
Which leads me to…
The cloud is indeed bringing enterprise together, it has been doing for years. But now with the rise of super-fast networks and collaboration tools that facilitate every possible professional or social need, we’re seeing the ever increasing impact of cloud computing on society. To such an extent that it is now difficult to even see how things can run without being in the cloud.
However, to counter this argument, we also have…
4. Dark Clouds On The Horizon
An interesting take on the two biggest issues with cloud computing. Issues that still make it a challenge for organizations to embrace the technology.
“Now that enterprises have done serious work in the cloud, they’re a bit unhappy with their cloud technology providers. It turns out that migrations are not so easy, and service levels aren’t what they expect.”
Addressing these issues should be priority 1a and 1b for cloud service providers in 2018.
With so much unease surrounding the impact of technology on job markets, it was interesting to read this week about new ways to transform the hiring process through platforms that use neuroscience and AI.
Human computing, machine learning and AI open up huge opportunities to the world of recruitment and hiring.
From blind auditions that will “hire and promote based on ability, not gender”, to technology being able to “assist the migration of women and men whose jobs are being lost to A.I. into the jobs of the future.”
Who says computers will diminish our importance in the working world?
6. Home Computers
“Amazon wants Alexa everywhere”. Lol, now that’s a catchy lead-in.
It’s sad to say but soon the days of tower unit desktop PCs and workstations connected to multiple, large format monitors, will be gone. Home computing is going in a new and diminutive direction.
Manufacturing diverse sets of devices is going to become the norm. But they must be able to talk to each other, and not just with devices of their own brand name – ahem… Apple!
So who has the edge? Amazon and Microsoft or Google and Apple? Talk about home tech wars! This could get VERY messy.
7. Gartner Predictions
It’s always good to see what Gartner is predicting and this week their ten predictions for IT organizations (2018 and beyond) shared some enlightening stats. Specifically on the subjects of:
- Website design
- False Information
- Counterfeit Reality
- Bots and Chatbots
- IT Staffing
- IT Security
It’s an incredibly exciting time in the world of tech, because innovations are helping to shape business thinking, solve societal problems and embrace cultural issues in wonderfully positive ways.
8. Computer vs. Human Intelligence
What a question – “Who’s smarter — you, or the computer or mobile device on which you’re reading this article?”
Surely everyone is going to say ‘I am!’
Good read: Are Computers Already Smarter Than Humans?
OK, earlier I said the Regulating Facebook piece was THE ‘must read’ piece of tech news this week. I’ve changed my mind, it’s this article.
At a time when machines are taking over much of what we do, driven by technological advancements in AI, VR and AR, this is the perfect response to the thousands of articles we see each week on the subject of human vs. computer worth.
“The important thing to keep in mind is that it is not man versus machine… It is not a competition. It is a collaboration.”
Beautifully put! We would do well to embrace this sentiment, instead of being paranoid about what might happen. Technology is a great facilitator, not an inhibitor. We are the ones in control of what goes into these ‘machines’, how they are deployed and used for the benefit of society.
Ah yes! No week is complete without some mention of AI. And here is this weeks nugget. “Scientists have long known this. Our pupils widen ever so slightly when we’re being deceptive.”
Which plays right into the hands of AI.
Is this a genuine threat to job security or an unbelievable opportunity to find the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
I suspect it’s wishful thinking, and until the technology is foolproof we’ll need human intervention because a dilated pupil is never going to prove someone 100% innocent or guilty. It’s naive, if not downright scary, to even consider it.
10. When Data Saves Lives
And finally, how big data is reshaping disaster management.
At a time when the most horrendous news hits us from every media outlet, we tip our hat to the industries, organizations and technologies that are genuinely saving lives. In the bleakest of weeks, their are always those that are a beacon of hope. This is just one of the MANY examples.
Until next week.
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