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AGILE CHAT – A Brave New World

Tom O'Shea |

Does anyone else remember when 2001: A Space Odyssey was just an epic science-fiction film produced and directed in 1968 by Stanley Kubrick about unimaginable things that could happen way off in the distant future? Kubrick portrayed a future that could involve artificial intelligence and extraterrestrial life in profound ways.  For many of us, it was a somewhat daunting first introduction to the idea and possible risk of super computers taking control of our universe.  Remember, 1968 is twenty-five years before the dawning of the internet and the turbo speed of transformation triggered from that point forward.

Can you still remember the spooky voice of “HAL”, the special new 9000 series super computer embedded as the control system in the space ship, talking to Astronaut Dave just after Dave realizes that HAL is a serious safety risk – i sure can.   The issue is that HAL has concluded that the astronaut team mission is no longer consistent with his mission programming and therefore it is “his” job to protect the ship.  Here is a classic video clip where Dave says “Hal, Open the Pod Bay Doors”.

Well, it is 2017 now and that is 16 years past the fictional Space Odyssey with Hal and Dave.  It is also now almost 50 years since Kubrick produced the film and like with many other early “science fiction” futurists, it appears we are moving in this direction – with accelerating pace like with everything else.

I am not sure if SIRI and ALEXA are distant relatives to HAL … but they could be!  Who knows, in machine years, they could even be siblings.  I am thinking that the fastest growing population of characters in our world these days might even be the CHATBOT’s who are progressively entering into more and more aspects of our human lives.  CHATBOT’s are computer programs designed to create conversation and are increasing being used in various customer service and gaming applications.  There are many “dark” CHATBOTs that are also trolling social media sites to pirate and steal information.  Click here for a recent article from the INTERNET OF THINGS INSTITUTE that provides interesting perspective and insights about what lies ahead.

It is pretty clear that over the next decade there will be an exponential expansion in the artificial intelligence realm going way beyond just voice recognition technologies.  I call this AGILE CHAT … the capacity to have “better and faster” conversation flow in its most positive orientation.  There are also a ton of associated complex social and ethical issues that will come forward with these evolutions.  This recent article from the US Edition of THE GUARDIAN discusses how the new APPLE iPhone 8 facial recognition movement is already unleashing some of these issues signaling another step-up in complexity for us to process.

There are some folks doing some incredible things with virtual reality for gaming and entertainment like the folks at SONY PLAYSTATION.   Wow … some of their UX Designs take you to virtual experiences that parallel (maybe exceed) real life.  This goes way beyond  just AGILE CHAT … maybe creating AGILE LIFE!

There are also some incredible advances in the artificial intelligence arena being advanced at Carnegie-Mellon and other institutions that will one day cause a whole new field of team dynamics and communications with humans and non-humans.  I will leave that discussion to another day to explore further.

I can see some real potential for benefits for AGILE CHAT.  Over the past few weeks, I had a very frustrating experience of getting my LinkedIn account hijacked for a few days.  Maybe the MOST frustrating aspect of that experience was the fact that there is NO WAY to speak to anyone at LinkedIn when you are in a help mode.  You have to search and finally discover that they want to communicate with you via TWITTER … go figure? I would have much preferred to have had an AGILE CHAT with a techno-human chatbot to guide me in my moments of near despair.

I think the overriding thought for the day is … WHAT IS YOUR AGILE CHAT?  Do you have the right conversation flow going on within your organization with your human beings?  Do you also have the right conversation flow happening with your digital technology and computer applications?  Are they providing you the right and important information flow to feed your conversation flow?

Whether you make HAL, Alexa, SIRI or your CTO your closest friend and confidant … its a good time to rethink the conversation and information flow you have operating in your organization. Is your conversation flow AGILE and bringing you nourishment and insight or just noise and confusion? Is it bringing nourishment and insight or just noise and confusion?  Is it being helpful or does it pose a real threat to derailing your mission?

Don’t be complacent … BE AGILE!

Love to hear your stories, thoughts and reactions.

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