Two weeks ago, I spent time in Orlando, Florida, attending Microsoft’s huge IT pro and developer conference known as Microsoft Ignite. Having the opportunity to attend events such as this to see the latest in technological advancements is one of the highlights of my job. Every year, I am amazed at what new technologies are being made available to us. The pace of innovation has increased exponentially over the last five years. I can only imagine what the youth of today will bring to this world as our next generation’s creators.
Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, kicked off the vision keynote on Day 1. As always, he gets the crowd pumped up with his inspirational speeches. If you saw Satya’s keynote last year, you could almost bet on what he was going to be talking about this year. His passion, and Microsoft’s mission, is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. This is a bold statement, but one that I believe is possible. He also shared how Microsoft is combining cloud, artificial intelligence, and mixed reality across their product portfolio to help customers innovate and build the future of business. This was followed by a demonstration of how Ford Motor was able to use these technologies to improve product design and engineering and innovate at a much faster pace today. It’s clear to me that AI is going to be a core part of our lives as we continue to evolve with this technology.
The emergence of machine learning business models based on the use of the cloud is in fact a big factor for why AI is taking off. Prior to the cloud, AI projects had high costs abut cloud economics have rendered certain machine learning capabilities relatively inexpensive and less complicated to operate. Thanks to the integration of cloud and AI, very specialized artificial intelligence startups are exploding in growth. Besides the aforementioned Microsoft, AI projects and initiatives at tech giants such as Facebook, Google, and Apple are also exploding.
As we move forward, the potential for these technologies to help people in ways that we have never been able to before is going to become more of a reality than a dream. Technologies such as AI, serverless computing, containers, augmented reality, and, yes, quantum computing will fundamentally change how we do things and fuel innovation at a pace faster than ever before.