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Insight, analysis, and research about emerging technologies

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NFTs: Owning Digital Art

It would be hard to miss the commotion around non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Non-fungible tokens are, to a first approximation, purchased digital goods that exist on a blockchain. At this point, NFTs exist on the Ethereum blockchain, but there’s no reason that they couldn’t be implemented on others; it seems reasonably likely that specialized blockchains...

Radar trends to watch: April 2021

A lot happened in March. There’s been a lot of talk about augmented and virtual reality, with hints and speculation about products from Apple and Facebook. In the next two years, we’ll see whether this is more than just talk. We’ve also seen more people discussing operations for machine learning and AI, including a substantive talk by Andrew Ng. We’ve...

InfoTribes, Reality Brokers

It seems harder than ever to agree with others on basic facts, let alone to develop shared values and goals: we even claim to live in a post-truth era1. With anti-vaxxers, QAnon, Bernie Bros, flat earthers, the intellectual dark web, and disagreement worldwide as to the seriousness of COVID-19 and the effectiveness of masks, have we lost our shared...

The End of Silicon Valley as We Know It?

High-profile entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, venture capitalists like Peter Thiel and Keith Rabois, and big companies like Oracle and HP Enterprise are all leaving California. During COVID-19, Zoom-enabled tech workers have discovered the benefits of remote work from cheaper, less congested communities elsewhere. Is this the end of Silicon Valley as we...

The Next Generation of AI

Programs like AlphaZero and GPT-3 are massive accomplishments: they represent years of sustained work solving a difficult problem. But these problems are squarely within the domain of traditional AI. Playing Chess and Go or building ever-better language models have been AI projects for decades. The following projects have a different flavor: ...

Radar trends to watch: March 2021

For a short month, a lot happened in February–perhaps because the US elections are behind us, perhaps because COVID case numbers are dropping, perhaps for any number of reasons. Some of the most interesting articles I’ve seen have been about the Internet of Things, ranging from wireless peas to Elon Musk’s neural interfaces. AI and ML ...

Product Management for AI

A couple of years ago, Pete Skomoroch, Roger Magoulas, and I talked about the problems of being a product manager for an AI product. We decided that would be a good topic for an article, and possibly more. After Pete and I wrote the first article for O’Reilly Radar, it was clear that there was “more”–a lot more.  We then added Justin Norman,...

5 things on our data and AI radar for 2021

Here are some of the most significant themes we see as we look toward 2021. Some of these are emerging topics and others are developments on existing concepts, but all of them will inform our thinking in the coming year. MLOps FTW MLOps attempts to bridge the gap between Machine Learning (ML) applications and the CI/CD pipelines...

5 infrastructure and operations trends to watch in 2021

Change is the only constant in the technology world, and that’s particularly true in the realm of sysops, infrastructure, and security. Here’s a look ahead to 2021 and five of the trends we’re watching closely. Kubernetes Complexity To say that Kubernetes is the leading container orchestration platform is an understatement.  It’s...

The Wrong Question

“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.” Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow The deplatforming of Donald Trump and his alt-right coterie has led to many discussions of free speech.  Some of the discussions make good points, most don’t, but it seems to me that all of them miss the real point. ...

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