Source of Truth

New York 2017 (photo credit: Christian Espinoza)

Ask any teenager what they learned in Mathematics this week and you might receive a look of deep pensiveness followed by some slow head scratching. Now ask that same teenager to name their top five mobile apps, and they will spit them out in less time than it takes you to unlock your phone.

We’re living in a new frontier, a digital landscape that is ever changing, growing exponentially and shaping more than just our technology. Cars, Kitchens, Watches, Security, are just some of the ‘Internet of Things’, and this will evolve rapidly over the next 5 years. Disruption isn’t simply a buzzword that employers and entrepreneurs like to toss around, it is real now in every sense of the word. From innovation to job losses, is disruption becoming the new norm?

How many teenagers are growing up believing that YouTube is the center of all information? There is a part of me that worries about the future landscape from a quality perspective. Some major leaps we’ve made in AI engineering and automation have resulted in quite terrifying results (again I link to Cathy O’Neil’s book ‘Weapons of Math Destruction‘), and I hope that we can regain our humanity in some way, amid such a fast paced revolution.

In order to determine how the world will look like five years, simply observe any teenager right now. How they treat others, how they treat themselves, and how much of their time is spent interacting with their mobile device/ console/ computer, blissfully unaware of the real world around them.

“Whereas before, if I watch this video from a comedian, our recommendations were pretty good at saying, here’s another one just like it. But the Google Brain model figures out other comedians who are similar but not exactly the same — even more adjacent relationships. It’s able to see patterns that are less obvious.”

– Jim McFadden, the Technical Lead for YouTube recommendations

My Traveling Companion

Ethan sleeping, 2015 (photo credit: Christian Espinoza)

Ethan would always ride in the car with me. Wherever I went, he went. Whatever music I listened to, he listened to. He was the Starsky to my Hutch, without the busting criminals part.

In the early days, Ethan was too little to talk so he would simply watch the passing scenery from the safety of my back seat with baby booster.

As he grew, he ditched the booster seat and he moved to the front passenger side. His speech developed and he offered up some funny conversation, as well as some big questions like “dad, how does time work?” and “who is god?” (I did my best).

Often my job kept me very busy, so the car rides were the only time we really got to spend together. I started to get to know Ethan, his likes and dislikes. He would also sleep a lot.

Now that Ethan is nearly 14 years old, our car ride conversations have been replaced by his headphones and Spotify playlist. Do I miss the old times ? Yes. But I am also glad to see him develop and grow more independent by the day.

I cherish the old times we had talking for hours in the car, but I also look forward to the new times ahead. Maybe one day when Ethan has kids of his own, he will have his own conversations.

The past is gone, the future isn’t here yet, so just take life one car ride at a time.