I’m about 32-thousand feet in the air flying over middle America heading to San Francisco to the Augmented World Expo (AWE) conference. It’s an enormous gathering, thousands of people will be descending from around the world to talk about, learn, network with people focused in some way on augmented reality and virtual reality among so many other emerging technology. This is heaven for those of use pushing these new technologies into products and lobbying for roads to commercialization. I will be leading a fireside chat with engineer and venture capitalist Nathanial Krasnoff of Wildcat Ventures where we talk about who’s making AR, who should be and what it’s going to take to win. Stay tuned for a recap.
Vermont has quietly done something no other state or federal entity has managed in the middle of global headlines about data privacy. The legislature passed a data broker law, requiring sellers of consumer personal data to register, maintain certain standards and if they don’t potentially face serious consequences.
These are brokers most consumers have never heard of because the companies serve businesses not individuals. I’ve heard these brokers referred to as modern day “garbage sifters.” Before the internet, they were going through your garbage for signs of what you buy, when, what medications, banks and that the household used so they could generate a profile and sell it to companies.
There was a line in one of the articles about the landmark law byTechCrunch that really stuck me:
“Data brokers have been quietly supplying everyone with your personal information for a long time. And advertising is the least of its applications: this data is used for informing shadow credit scores, restricting services and offers to certain classes of people, setting terms of loans, and more”.
For all the decades of laws outlawing redlining (where banks cannot discriminate based on where you live, often racially motivated), protecting our medical privacy rights (e.x. HIPAA Privacy Rules ) and consumer credit protection laws, are we now back to square one? How can there be zero accountability to the ever growing sources of data that may or may not be accurate, especially as new predictive algorithmic tools claim to make “scientific” conclusions based on the piles of information they collect?
We should all pay attention to how this law unfolds in Vermont.
“When can I make some artificial intelligence?” she asked.
My daughter recently opened a conversation asking when she could start making artificial intelligence (AI). It was a Sunday evening and she was finishing some homework around 7:30p.m.; work that could have easily been done on Saturday, but I digress. I had an idea of where this was heading, but wanting to make sure, I asked why she wanted to know. Head down, pencil moving, without missing a beat, she says, “I want to know when I can make some AI to do my math homework, all of it at once.”
Aright then. Siobhan is nine. Was I surprised by this question, no. She sees AI in shows online and reads about it fictional worlds and in her non-fiction books on her ipad. She understands the basics, this thing called AI can, does and will make her life easier.
And she’s thinking about ways to speed up that process, for applications that will help her out right now. She may be young, but she’s hardly alone. From students to CEOs, millions of people right now, today are thinking about what AI is or can be, how to use it, when and increasingly, more importantly who can make.
This conversation with my daughter is taking place in a home shared with two robots-Dash and MiP, two SKYKING Mini Drones, iPhones, iPads, a Samsung Gear VR headset, Samsung Galaxy phones and an assortment of other pieces of technology; some of which did not exist on the consumer market even 5 years ago. We are living in the future right now. These emerging technologies have working applications. They work and thousands and thousands all over the world are working to make them work better. And while it’s real hard to imagine what will be hanging out in our homes ten years from now, we do know the tech is developing rapidly. To put it all in context lets not forget the iPhone was born to consumers in 2007, barely eleven years ago.
While we wrestle with the continuum of mixed emotions that change often triggers, let’s not forget that right now, today, we are living parts of what the future will bring.
I’m obsessed with all things future of work, mostly because it effects, well, everything. With so much converging digital technology rapidly changing products, services and social mores faster than most of us, never mind government policy can keep up. Life is changing fast; and slowly at the same time.
Humans find change unsettling or exciting, often both at the same time. Context is important and it’s often hard to remember how young so many of the companies that consume our lives are. Facebook is fourteen, that’s 14 years young. Google is 19 and pulling up the rear, Amazon is 23 years old. They are young and yet, deeply embedded in our lives. It’s important to note, the tech that making them possible, including computational power has been decades in the making. That would be the fast, yet slow change that tech brings. Bottom line is these companies have changed they way we communicate, connect, work and live. In a word: everything.
The entire world’s workforce is trending toward many, most workers by 2020 or 2025, depending on the report, will be working on a project basis as a freelancer or contract worker. That means all kind of change and these exciting startups below are applying all sorts of technology from #AR to #AI to this changing marketplace today. I’ve linked to company videos that explain more.
- PowerToFly is says Wikipedia, “a recruiting platform that connects companies to women in tech”. They are building a robust community of talent and a direct pipeline into companies from Dow Jones to GitLab. They are creating a new model in human capital and solving a relentless diversity in tech problem.
- JustWorks the company says “is a platform that automates payroll, benefits, and compliance so entrepreneurs can focus on what matters: growing their business and their team.” I would add, entrepreneurs and anyone working for themselves in any capacity.
- BEAM is “a full-service, interactive marketing and experience design agency.” They developed a mind-blowingly interesting an HR onboarding augmented reality (#AR) prototype”. It’s worth the time, check out the video.
Can you imagine this? Your hand open, palm up and suddenly with your finger tips you have access to anything you have right now, today in your smartphone? This is a prototype from Leap Motion, VR/AR developers out of San Francisco. Click here to read the full article. But before you go, check out this video. I could watch it all day!
It’s exciting to see converging technologies- in this case #AR and #Wearables- converge into a potential utility application. Thank you Keiichi Matsuda, the creative director and VP of design who is developing this. This application, tool, feels like a lovely path to commercialization.