Tech leaders @ C-Span NGA Summer meeting
Last night, I watched 3 tech leaders addressing National Governors association in C-SPAN. Below are the 3 points that struck me from each one of their talk.
1. Auto: In 10 to 20 years, owning a manual non electric vehicle, would be like owning a horse now.In rural India , where I grew up, bullock/horse carts used to be common modes of transportation between railway stations/bus stops to homes. They were completely replaced with automobiles 30 years back. So, I could imagine that self-driving electric vehicles taking this place in the next 20 years. I think , in the future,most population may not even want to own a vehicle ,as driverless uber type mode of transportation will be available in a cost-effective way at your comfort.
2. Energy: The size of the solar panel required to power entire USA is just 100x100 sq miles. For battery, you just need 1 sq mile area. If you plot them in the USA map, they will be represented by tiny pixels. So it seems very doable in a very short period. Rooftop solar combined with utility solar, complimented with Hydro and other sustainable energy sources are going to be the norm very soon.
3. AI: Elon repeated his rhetoric about AI being the biggest risk. He mentioned a hypothetical scenario where AI, if left alone, could start a world war to maximize the profit for financial market. It sounded very scary. But I am not sure how putting regulation would stop this. Like stem cell research, ethical and existential issues must be addressed upfront. But the should not clamp down the potential benefits with advancement in technology.
1.His love for numbers is very apparent in his talk and it reminds everyone to find their passion and apply it even after you retire. Also, it was interesting to see Doug Burgum as governor of North Dakota listening to Steve Ballmer as founder of USAFacts.org. I saw the genuine interest and enthusiasm in Doug’s face as he was listening to Ballmer, probably an old habit from Microsoft days. Doug’s speech in Convergence conferences about trust and transparency have inspired me in the past.
2.It looks like Steve is a big fan and avid reader of 10-K. It made me to find and read Microsoft’s 10-K ,https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Investor/sec-filings.aspx?year=2016&filing=annual. Also, interesting to see 8-K, 11-K and many other forms filed by the company. This will also reveal if you are a numbers guy or not.
3.Steve is now focusing on creating 10-K for states. Good opportunity for search engines to generate knowledge out of 10-Ks from companies as well as states to answer people’s questions in natural language and unlock the rich information hidden in these documents.
1. Reshma’s presentation skills are awesome. In her talk, she appreciated the work that some governors did to encourage girls to code and also nicely put the blame and responsibility on the Governor’s shoulders and persuaded them to make it right.
2. She mentioned that culture is the main cause of holding girls from taking up computer science. She provided examples on how boys are encouraged to take risks while girls are encouraged to play it safe. Barbie dolls and nerdy computer geek images painted by the media is also making this negative impact.
3. We can’t change what we don’t count