IBM THINK 2020 Digital Experience: Day 1 Review

We look back at day 1 of the IBM THINK Digital Experience. Completely different from the in-person experience, but neither better nor worse.

Highlights:
– AI for IT – complexity of systems
– Rob Thomas on a more layperson-friendly Watson Studio AutoAI
– Tackling of more complex issues with AI
– Data supply chain and physical locations (hybrid cloud)
– IBM AI for Kids labs

Things I miss:
– Chatting ad hoc with other data scientists

Things I don’t miss:
– San Francisco during conference season

Can’t see anything? Watch it on YouTube here.

Listen to the audio here:

Download the MP3 audio here.

Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

Today we’re talking about IBM think that digital experience the first day of the digital experience, in contrast to previous years when a whole bunch of us on 40,000 was converged on either Las Vegas or San Francisco this year, for obvious reasons, we didn’t go anywhere.

The event is structured a lot more like it’s a hybrid combination of in person, well live keynotes, and then a whole bunch of on demand sessions, which actually I think works out really well because the on demand stuff you can log into any time and watch and download slide decks and stuff and the live keynotes and stuff are, of course fun.

Some of the big highlights from day one, I think there was the premiere of AI Ops, which is The use of artificial intelligence to manage your IT infrastructure.

And this is when you’re using things like anomaly detection, breakout detection, trend detection to identify and fix failures in your technology infrastructure before they become bigger problems.

As someone who used to run a data center, this would have been very nice to have had.

It’s that some of the problems that we had way back in the day were easily preventable if we had the time and resources to go after.

And a lot of the Watson AI ops tools that were unveiled yesterday will help address a lot of that.

The second thing was a useful takeaway was actually from the opening keynote with Arvind Krishna who is the new CEO of IBM.

And that is the concept that IBM has been pushing hybrid cloud, which is where you have services that are in the public cloud, public facing web based services.

And then there’s the private cloud, which is your servers and things that are may not be physically hosted on site.

But they’re there databases and systems that you don’t want the public accessing.

And then there’s your on premise hardware if there’s things like you know, even your laptop, and there’s historically been no way to coordinate the resources well, but one of the things that he said that was really interesting was the hybrid cloud, as a concept is how you manage your data supply chain.

And in a world where COVID-19 has proven that our supply chains are brittle and easily disrupted.

starting to think about what your data supply chain looks like is really important.

He said, I was the quote from yesterday, where your data lives physically in the world matters.

Because if you have a disruption, say on a server farm in in, I don’t know, Crimea or the 80s Radek, see, you run the same risks of essentially having your operations disrupted.

As you do if you don’t, somebody just walked into a server and poured water all over your service.

And so a strategy that allows you to have robust failover and the ability to move your data from place to place as as you need it is important.

When you think about this, in the marketing context, how many of us are solely Reliant solely reliant on a service like Google Analytics, which is technically public cloud, right? You have no control over now you’re not paying any money for it unless you’re paying for Google Analytics 360.

But the vast majority of us are not paying for it.

And so we have no control over if it is disrupted in some way.

Our data supply chain vanishes.

Right, a major source of data vanishes, which is one of the reasons why you have to think about potentially a private cloud option something like otomo, which is an open source product you can run in your own private cloud.

Cloud gathering the exact same data that Google Analytics doesn’t and giving you backup options.

And then you need obviously the hybrid cloud strategy to to reconcile your Google Analytics data with your my tomo data and figure out how to integrate.

But it’s a really important concept that I know for sure marketing technologists do not get because marketing tech is about 15 years behind it.

Information Technology, marketing tech is just discovering a lot of the issues that it solved decades ago.

And it’s really there.

But the nice thing is there are opportunities now for marketing technologists, to crib from the lessons of it, and use modern day services, you know, IBM and all its competitors to leap ahead to avoid having to make those 15 years of mistakes in order to get to productivity.

A couple of things that were useful yesterday sessions.

IBM has an AI for kids lab which I That was really nice.

So I’m going to be making my kids do some of it.

The lot of the keynote speakers were talking about some of the more complex issues around AI such as bias, and diversity and inclusion within technology as a whole, but in particular, artificial intelligence.

Will will I am had an interesting quote yesterday, he said he was investing in an AI startup and was able to raise funding for it and get everything running.

And then simultaneously was trying to get funding for a school and he said, why is it that we are is so easy to invest in artificial intelligence, but so hard to get people to invest in human intelligence? Is that where you put your money now is the world you’ll get tomorrow? So where do you want your money to go? What kind of world do you want to live in? I thought it was a useful point of view because yeah, it is easier to get dollars for a piece of technology because the return on investment is The horizon is a much shorter horizon, you can get no invest in and flip a company like a piece of real estate in a few years, couple years to three years.

Human beings having much longer investment timescale, but where is the equivalent of the investing education like savings bonds people save people save money in a in a 30 year savings bond? Why do we not have that level of financial instrument in investment for companies and for social good projects, something to think about? Finally, in a Reddit AMA with Rob Thomas, not the singer.

It was open questions about the different IBM technology portfolios, and I asked What about a more consumer equivalent of Watson Studio is AutoAI.

So AutoAI you’ve heard me talk about a number of times is a really useful tool for data scientists to accelerate modeling and understanding Have a data set, you put it in, it runs all the algorithm tests spits back some results.

And you look at it, you interpret it.

It is not in any way shape or form, friendly to the layperson, you still have to understand things like what an RMSE score is what a area under a curve is.

And I asked a long time ago, five years ago, IBM had a product called Watson Analytics, which is their attempt to make a more consumer friendly version of what was effectively IBM Cognos.

I said, Will we get something that is that style of thing, but for auto AI? And he said, if you’d like to be a trial user, let me up.

Because that would be interesting to see how you can not watered down or dumbed down but how do you make the technology more accessible for common use cases? So that somebody doesn’t need to know what RMSE score is in order to get a reasonably viable model.

It’s a big challenge because there’s so many things that can go wrong.

In that type of artificial intelligence, that type of machine learning.

So that was day one.

Now, again, this is a virtual event, a lot of things that are different, I do miss being able to hang out, you know, they ask a data scientist booth and just pepper them with questions all day.

I do not miss San Francisco during conference season with $900, hotel rooms, and things like that.

So, gonna jump into day two today to see what is on tap and dig into some of the more technical sessions and see what’s under the hood there.

But a good first day and I think, for the foreseeable near term future, this is the way conferences will go.

So I would encourage everyone to go ahead and sign up for it’s free, and see if you can get some value out of it.

Because if you can, then you’ll be well prepared for dealing with how conferences are going to be for at least probably in the next year.

If you can, leave a note in the comments or join my slack group analytics for marketers if you go to Trust insights.ai analytics for marketers, least thoughts about what it would take for you to get value out of a virtual event when the physical event simply isn’t available.

As always, please subscribe to the YouTube channel on the newsletter I’ll talk to you soon.

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