What does all this mean?
There are some very exciting opportunities in this new wave of technologies, and also some drastic changes:
On the one side: The whole demo of a professor teaching Case Western students remotely using Hololens was amazing – definitely helpful for bringing great teachers to remote students, and of course helpful with say remote surgery. Also within aviation, construction, home improvement… the possibilities are endless. Here is where we will create a lot of highly skilled jobs building this software, and it will enhance the jobs of existing employees.
On the flip side: the amazing advances in AI, from deep understanding of language, to facial expressions, will surely eliminate a huge number of low skilled jobs, like picking up the phone at the pizza store. You might argue these are brain-dead jobs…but still, they are paying jobs, they will disappear, and this technology provides new jobs for a lot fewer, highly skilled engineers. I think we are seeing the beginning of a trend in eliminating service jobs. Since we are a service economy, this should be worrying a lot of people…who didn’t watch the keynote.
Another reflection is that this is a flash back to the original visions around web services, how different applications would all work together as components, to help you do things like book tickets and hotels. But now, instead of the glue being APIs written and consumed by developers, these ‘micro services’ are glued together by bots and orchestrated by Cortana. Web Services have come full circle from machine to machine connections, to personal services.
To sum it up so far, a lot of far reaching and exciting technological and social changes, and this is just day one. Stay tuned for day two!