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

In Tech we Trust

My 13yr old, Ethan (Photo Credit: Christian Espinoza)

Disconnecting from platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is a luxury but isn’t always feasible. I know this first hand.

How many times have you caught yourself scrolling through the never ending feeds of other people’s pages ? Or down a You Tube rabbit hole ? The comments section ? I’m not entirely sure that we know how we got here.

I read a book called Weapons of Math Destruction, by Cathy O’Neil, perhaps the most riveting book on mathematics I have ever read. O’Neil poses a compelling argument on how the unregulated misuse (or, weaponizing) of data by organizations, on a mass scale is actually damaging lives.

You could even argue that we’ve gone from a state of being watched (think George Orwell’s 1984) to being manipulated. Our behavioral patterns are being sold as commodity by big tech companies, and perhaps our individual privacy is more important now than it ever has been.

Next time you find yourself scrolling for hours, or in the comments section, ask yourself: Is this adding value to my life ?

If so, scroll away !

I got bitches askin’ me about the code for the WiFi. So they can talk about they timeline. And show me pictures of they friends. Just to tell me they ain’t really friends.

– Drake (Energy)