Back after a long hiatus from a cross-country move, and where do I start? Unbelievable amount of disruptive technologically-based change, and the stakes are getting higher. I’ve hit multiple events around town of late, and am hearing some things that I find, well, a tad head-spinning.
The applications and implications of ‘Internet of Things’ and Big Data are accelerating.There is some GREAT stuff going on. Like the National Institutes of Health are offering a new portal enabling researchers to collaborate on highly specialized data related to patients with Alzheimers disease. Cool! And a winery in California that is using connected sensors to maximize irrigation practices and vineyard yield. Yay! There are new apps for everything from monitoring weather patterns to traffic management. Things are coming on fast. But along with the benefits, the risks are of course growing.
Cyber security threats are getting worse (is that possible?) Aside from the massive data hack on 4M government workers, last week, I learned that China claims to have ‘graduated’ 2 million Cyber Warriors – looks like they were testing out their offensive via the government hack. Of course hackers are a worldwide breed. But as cyber crime increases, the authorities are not necessarily trained to detect or respond. How would a police officer investigating an auto accident be able to tell if that accident resulted from a hack of a car’s breaking system? Yikes.
I learned that IBM has created a chip with 256 million synapses modeled on human cognition. Something called neuro-morphic data. Hmmm. I wonder where that could go. I learned that massive amounts of data are growing at the ‘edge’, and that in 2 short years, the collective computing and storage capacity of smartphones will surpass all servers – worldwide. I heard a highly placed person at Microsoft say IoT can’t be all about money – it has to be about improving people’s lives. Nice! I heard a Cisco exec say the ghost in the machine can easily become the menace in the machine. Not so nice. I heard a representative from the FAA say that they’re staying away from the privacy aspects of drones because their charter is on safety in the air. Isn’t privacy directly linked to safety? And I learned that the black market price of a stolen health record now exceeds the price of a stolen credit card record by 20:1. And when someone else uses your health identify for themselves, your digital health profile can be changed, and the consequences (wrong meds, wrong injections) can be deadly.