Things feel like they are “Accelerating” Because they Are – (A “Deep Learning” Example from Google)

Thank you for Being LateI am speaking to a professional group today. Here’s how I describe my upcoming session.

The Age of Accelerations
The pace of technological advancement and change is accelerating. Keeping up is becoming every more difficult, and predicting the next tomorrow has become almost impossible. Moore’s Law has not abated, and the improvements, and innovations, change the way we work, interact, measure, and live…
In this presentation, Randy Mayeux, drawing from books such as The Second Machine Age, Zero to One, Exponential Organizations, Rise of the Robots, The Seventh Sense, The Inevitable, and Thank You for Being Late will help us understand how to navigate, even anticipate, this technologically-driven changing landscape.

I’ve since added Machine Platform Crowd to that list of books.

The phrase/word “accelerations” comes from the subtitle of Thomas Friedman’s book: Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations.

This much I know. The pace of technological change/progress is accelerating. Of all the single insights/observations about this, this may be the one that describes the “accelerating” nature of the era best. It comes from Machine Platform Crowd:

The business application of deep learning is only a few years old. But the technique is spreading with extraordinary speed. The software engineer Jeff Dean, who heads Google’s efforts to use the technology, notes that as recently as 2012 the company was not using it at all to improve products like Search, Gmail, YouTube, or Maps. By the third quarter of 2015, however, deep learning was being used in approximately 1,200 projects across the company, having surpassed the performance of other methods.

In other words, once a new technology or application of that technology is ready, things spread very, very quickly. Remember, the iPhone, and now all SmartPhones, only arrived in 2007. Ten years, and the world is changed, different, in ways that very few saw coming.

The times, they are a changin’…

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