|By Ed Featherston||
|September 30, 2016 11:15 AM EDT||
Big Data. Analytics. Internet of Things. Cloud. In the last few years, you cannot have a discussion around technology without those terms entering the conversation. They have been major technology disruptors impacting all aspects of the business. Change seems to occur at breakneck speeds and shows no sign of slowing. Today, it appears the one constant in technology is change. Constant change requires constant innovation which thereby introduces more new technologies. One of the new technologies entering the conversation is machine learning. Gartner identified machine learning as one of the top 10 technology trends for 2016. It is definitely a hot topic.
Everything old is new again
What I find fascinating about machine learning is that the basic tenets harken back to the '70s and '80s in the early years of artificial intelligence research. The work at that time was constrained by compute capacity and amount of data available. This is the key that has enabled machine learning to leap forward in recent years - both of those constraints no longer hold. Compute cycles and data are available at levels unimagined just decades ago.
The goal of machine learning sounds simple: provide systems with the ability to learn based on the information provided them. Simple as it sounds, this is counter to classic software engineering and has its challenges. Most software development we are familiar with ‘hard codes' the systems behavior based on planned and anticipated user and data interactions. The standard ‘if-then-else' model.
The algorithms required for artificial intelligence/machine learning are much more complex. They need to allow the system to develop its own analytical models based on inputs. Those models are constantly changing based on the information provided. Based on the data and those models, behavior is determined. As you can tell from the description, this results in very non-deterministic behavior. The system will analyze, interpret and react based on the information provided, modify that behavior as more information, and then feedback is provided. The analysis and behavior is constantly changing and being refined over time. Imagine developing the test suite for that system! (A topic for future discussion).
You are already reaping the benefits of machine learning
Do you have a Netflix account? Or Amazon? Both Netflix and Amazon provide a ‘recommended for you' list every time you log in. Both companies have very complex, proprietary algorithms analyzing the huge repository of information about you and all their member's transactions. Based on that information, they develop models of your expected behavior and present a list of recommendations to you. How you react to those recommendations is also fed back into the algorithms, constantly tweaking and adjusting your behavior model.
Or how about your smart phone? Think for a moment about the complexity of the simple statement, "Siri, what is the weather forecast for today?" First the software needs to be able to understand your voice, your accent, and your way of speech in order to be able to determine the actual words being spoken. If it's not sure, the software asks for clarification, and it learns from the clarification. Each time you use it, your phone gets better at understanding what you are saying. Once it understands the words, it has to process natural language into something meaningful to the system. This again requires complex algorithms analyzing the information, creating a model, and executing on its interpretation. As with parsing the words, if it's not sure, the software will prompt for clarification. That clarification will be fed back into the system that models your way of speaking and the context of the language you use.
It's all about the data
In a recent article on TechCrunch, ‘How startups can compete with enterprises in artificial intelligence and machine learning' John Melas-Kyriazi refers to data as the ‘fuel we feed into training machine learning models that can create powerful network effects at scale.' I find that a very apt analogy. The complex algorithms and models are the engine of machine learning, but without fuel, the engine - the data - won't work very well, if at all. A colleague of mine, John Williams, (Chief Strategy Officer at Collaborative Consulting) for years has been fond of saying, "It's all about the data." That could not be more true than in the world of machine learning.
Given the importance of the data to the success of any machine learning implementation, there are some key considerations to take into account:
- Data Quality - In the world of data, this has always been an important consideration. Data cleansing and scrubbing is standard practice already in many organizations. It has become critical for machine learning implementations. Putting dirty fuel into even the best engine will bring it to a grinding halt.
- Data Volume - Big Data is tailor-made for machine learning. The more information the algorithms and subsequent models have to work with, the better the results. The key word here is learning. We as individuals learn more as more information is provided to us. This concept is directly applicable in the machine learning world.
- Data Timeliness - Besides volume, new and timely data is also a consideration. If the machine learning is based on a large volume of data that is completely outdated, the resulting models will not be very useful.
- Data Pedigree - Where did the data come from? Is it a valid source? The pedigree is less important when using internal systems, as the source is well known, but many machine learning systems will be getting their data from public sources. Or potentially, from the many devices in the world of the Internet of Things. Crowd-sourcing data (for example Waze, a GPS mobile app) requires extra effort to ensure you trust the information being consumed. Imagine a new kind of cyber-attack - feeding your machine learning system bad data to impact the results. Remember Microsoft's problem with its AI Chatbot Tay learning to be a racist?
No technology negates the need for good design and planning
There is no doubt machine learning technology has amazing potential at impacting businesses across the spectrum, whether it will be in healthcare for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease to self-driving cars that were once in the realm of science fiction. No technology negates the need for good design and planning; machine learning is no different. As technologists, it's our responsibility to ensure the proper efforts have been made to supply machine learning implementations with the best fuel possible. Understanding the quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree needs of these systems can help us navigate this new world of machine learning, leading us to successful execution, and, ultimately, providing value back to the business.
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busin...
Apr. 24, 2017 08:15 PM EDT Reads: 332
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Apr. 24, 2017 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 619
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
Apr. 24, 2017 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,114
In recent years, containers have taken the world by storm. Companies of all sizes and industries have realized the massive benefits of containers, such as unprecedented mobility, higher hardware utilization, and increased flexibility and agility; however, many containers today are non-persistent. Containers without persistence miss out on many benefits, and in many cases simply pass the responsibility of persistence onto other infrastructure, adding additional complexity.
Apr. 24, 2017 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,101
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, vice president of DevOps Product and Solutions Marketing at CA Technologies, has been named co-conference chair of DevOps at Cloud Expo 2017. The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Apr. 24, 2017 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,394
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
Apr. 24, 2017 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 710
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
Apr. 24, 2017 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 558
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Apr. 24, 2017 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 676
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Analytic. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Apr. 24, 2017 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 619
SYS-CON Events announced today that Twistlock, the leading provider of cloud container security solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Twistlock is the industry's first enterprise security suite for container security. Twistlock's technology addresses risks on the host and within the application of the container, enabling enterprises to consistently enforce security policies, monitor...
Apr. 24, 2017 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,414
Quickly find the root cause of complex database problems slowing down your applications. Up to 88% of all application performance issues are related to the database. DPA’s unique response time analysis shows you exactly what needs fixing - in four clicks or less. Optimize performance anywhere. Database Performance Analyzer monitors on-premises, on VMware®, and in the Cloud, including Amazon® AWS and Azure™ virtual machines.
Apr. 24, 2017 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,639
Automation is enabling enterprises to design, deploy, and manage more complex, hybrid cloud environments. Yet the people who manage these environments must be trained in and understanding these environments better than ever before. A new era of analytics and cognitive computing is adding intelligence, but also more complexity, to these cloud environments. How smart is your cloud? How smart should it be? In this power panel at 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, pane...
Apr. 24, 2017 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,989
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
Apr. 24, 2017 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 575
@ThingsExpo has been named the Most Influential ‘Smart Cities - IIoT' Account and @BigDataExpo has been named fourteenth by Right Relevance (RR), which provides curated information and intelligence on approximately 50,000 topics. In addition, Right Relevance provides an Insights offering that combines the above Topics and Influencers information with real time conversations to provide actionable intelligence with visualizations to enable decision making. The Insights service is applicable to eve...
Apr. 24, 2017 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,535
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
Apr. 24, 2017 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,880
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Apr. 24, 2017 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 611
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Apr. 24, 2017 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,110
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
Apr. 24, 2017 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 642
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place in November in Silicon Valley, California.
Apr. 24, 2017 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,146
@DevOpsSummit has been named the ‘Top DevOps Influencer' by iTrend. iTred processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @DevOpsSummit ranked as the number one ‘DevOps Influencer' followed by @CloudExpo at third, and @MicroservicesE at 24th.
Apr. 24, 2017 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,638