The rise of software as an interface or management for everything and anything was long ago predicted as the ultimate path of the human species. The advancement with software technologies and programming languages is creating more machine digestible data models that makes it easier to put software at the heart of coordinating and managing both stateless and stately data which represents real world events. The concept of “digital twins”, advanced by General Electric was a laughing phrase a few years back but now is increasing our ability to practically reflect the real world happenings through software and data from sensors and telemetry systems to make it possible to effectively cede control to software, or a machine, and yet this is all just beginning.
In 2011, Marc Andersen, Co-founder of Netscape, investor and software engineer, made a proclamation with his statement that ”Software Is Eating the World, and It Could Eat Your Business.” Marc made this statement almost 10 years ago to posit the fact that more and major business and even industries altogether are being run on software and by software. Organizations, enterprises, governments and the society at large now depends on software, with more scenarios for software firms approach becoming the preferred operating model. Societies at scale are relying on software to fuel all the tangible services and expectations of how thjj oh far are supposed to be, and this is becoming THE WAY everywhere.
Tangible advancements in data modeling, statistical science and software technologies have turned the long and cold winter of AI into a booming and flourishing field today. Capabilities to make software manage itself, organize itself, learn itself and indeed develop itself are driving new business needs and expectations to push the boundary on what’s possible with technology. It’s making humans now rely at first on software without even making an effort to go the “normal” route. It’s not cool, because there’s a new “cool” and it’s a software or App somewhere.
On the flip side, the quickly evolving space of IoT and embedded software technologies in devices running on battery powered connectivity is leading to mobility capabilities that couldn’t have been possible a few decades back. Portability of power, the exponential improvement of processing power and the ability to pack more logic gates (transistors) into electronic circuitry is gradually getting us to match the power of the human brain. Would we get there, I don’t know but now it’s possible to see software drive cars, navigate complex fields, steer all types of machinery, and indeed diagnose diseases, prescribe medicine and predict outbreaks. Of course it’s all to help the human race, and yet the bigger question remains, is it really?
The birth of the Internet expedited all this. The discovery of Electricity and the ability to miniaturize logic gates started all this. Perhaps even more clear is the ability we possessed to mechanize stuff, and therefore create mechanical objects may be the root cause because it led to our ability to generate electricity. We can even reverse back in time further and further on until we arrive at a time when it all started — the moment we, as a human species discovered how to make spears, fire and preserve food…at that moment the world had changed and the trajectory for it was now exponentially unknown.
Is there an escape to all this then? I’m not sure I’ve got an answer now for this. I don’t know and I can’t tell, but it’s for sure that we can’t stop the trajectory or slow it down now until we’ve run the full course. Am an avid fan for digital, infact I promote digital transformation and the design and implementation of super superior architecture because it enables enterprises do more. I know am contributing to it, but can I stop, will I stop? Certainly no. Technology, software and AI can be used for the good of mankind. The internet enabled us to harnes our collective reasoning power and that’s enabled us build more superior digital enabled today. It may seem scary trying to project the current trends into the future, and it sounds scary what will become of the human race as our minds go to work, as it should. We advance civilization into realms that we can’t “compute”, but perhaps the human race in itself may from time to time review it action an try to reset course. Will software eat human beings too? This is a great question as we see the advancements in creating successful cybernetics increases.
So, with all that said, what is your role as a reader of this blog in this? If you’ve read until this moment then here are some food for thought. Your existence isn’t only defined by you alone. It’s now shoes by all the interfaces from birth. Those interfaces re increasingly run my software. The swipping that led to meeting your spouse, the scheduling that led to a certain nurse / doctor tending to you, the teaching optimization path you followed at school all through to human capital management systems at work etc. work on software.
A software is a combination of knowledge assets and techniques to answering questions. The knowledge behind a software is leveraged from others, and therefor you’re connected to a broader set of “encapsulated feelings and emotions” that formed the software. Your ability therefore to navigate this new world “storm” will require you having to understand the rudiments on how people behave, think, and reason. While software is getting better at the emotional and human side to our beings, it’s perhaps better now to build or sharpen your emotional side, and to physical to connect and feel with other humans. This ability, while diminishing as we become more isolated individually because of software addiction, will become the single most important skill that will be in short demand. There your ability to hone your skills in this are will set individuals apart as a new species arise in us.
The hint that future of societies, and humans particularly, in a software driven AI-world will be hinged on our ability to cultivate skills that border on art – poetry, story telling etc., reasoning and randomness etc., than science. Logic has been encapsulated into a box, how we retain our dignity as a race therefore must be based on how we sharpen the illogical aspects of being humans therefore. There is some beauty in falling outside the traditional space of logic and it stands a chance to be that which helps us to advance humanity.