Perhaps I haven't trumpeted publicly how happy I am to have become a Senior Writer for GreenBiz.com, where I'm writing about how technology aids corporate sustainability and environmental conservation. I've been contributing to the site since last July, but now will be doing so far more frequently: You'll see an average of two posts weekly starting in June.
This week, I had the pleasure of attending the company's VERGE Boston conference, where I moderated a panel about machine-to-machine (M2M) technology and its role in green buildings, transportation and sustainable agriculture. (Yep, that's me in that photo, looking far too serious for my own good. Must smile more when I'm thinking!)
One of the more compelling sessions at this confab was the presentation given by well-known information technology researcher Andrew McAfee. Not just because of the content, but because he couldn't actually deliver the speech in person and used a robot to "walk" on stage. Here's my coverage of his talk.
One of the most overhyped phrases used by the high-tech industry this year is "Internet of things." But that doesn't mean that the principles underlying the concept are any less important.
According to McAfee, we are entering an era where technology will start handling many tasks previously handled by knowledge workers -- most notably in the areas of business intelligence and data analytics. That's just one reason we haven't seen a huge pickup in job growth during the economic recovery. Some of that numbers-crunching is done far more efficiently by machines.
But putting context around those numbers is definitely a job for humans.
So while the technophobes or luddites reading this might be somewhat leery of the so-called M2M movement -- and all the data it is collecting -- it could mean the creation of a whole new sort of job role: a data strategist as opposed to data processor.
The best thing we can do as a society is start educating the next generation how to think more philosophically and creatively, so it can dream up whole new industries, products and services that exploit that data.