DISCUSSIONS: IT Trends Discussions & Directions When I was a kid growing up in the late 90s and early 2000s, I remember watching videos of futuristic inventions like flying cars, self driving vehicles, robots, touchscreen devices, and every other "futuristic" creation you could have thought of. Fast forward to today, and we have almost all of those things. We seem to take for granted or overlook just how far technology has come in such a short period of time. We seem to always have a smartphone glued to our hands, we see cars that drive or park themselves, and robots at the grocery store, and we're not even close to hitting our technological peak, as more "autonomous things" are on the brink of being an every day necessity.
I chose this topic because I happen to work for an engineering company that develops software for "autonomous things". I work on an IT team that supports about 100 software and mechanical engineers, so I figured I'd talk about some of the things that my company is working on and how close they are to hitting the streets (due to confidentiality, I will be leaving out the company name and specific program names)
Self-Driving bus: We are currently in the finishing stage or testing stage of having a fully autonomous shuttle bus. We have been developing it for about a year now, and it can be seen driving around our campus completely free of a pilot! we are based out of Maryland, and we have actually tested it in National Harbor, which is a very densely populated area. The bus utilizes GPS and lidar sensors to
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maintain their course and sense possible obstructions.
Self-Driving shuttle: This creation is much like the bus, but is more geared toward short trips, like college campuses. This innovation is all but complete, and it has actually gotten approval from our local government to operate between our testing campus and our office building which is about a mile away from each other. There are actually several college campuses who are currently working out the logistics to operate this vehicle as we speak! This shuttle operates similarly to the GPS and lidar of the bus.
Self-Driving military convoy vehicles: We have been working one on one with the Army to develop autonomous military convoy vehicles. This one is a little more tricky than the bus and shuttle, because convoy vehicles aren't always crossing terrain or roads that are listed on a gps map. However, they utilize what is called a "leader follower". This means that the lead vehicle is manned by a human, and the vehicles behind are completely unmanned and rely on the sensors from the lead vehicle to keep them on course. The lead vehicle can have up to ten followers in the convoy!
Although it seems like this technology is years from being implemented, it may be sooner than most think. It could fundamentally change the way people travel or buy vehicles. In regard to the convoy vehicles, it could save countless soldier's lives as a good majority of military deaths are due to road side IEDs. Prepare yourselves, the future is near!
Thought Provoking Questions:
1. When do you think we will see full autonomous vehicles in the
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streets or in the skies?
2. When the technology is available for purchase, would you put your trust in a machine to drive you safely from point A to point B?
3. There have been multiple movies made about robots trying to take over the world. Do you think that there's a certain point where technology will have advanced too far?
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DISCUSSIONS: IT Trends Discussions & Directions Amazon Echo, Google Nest, Ring, Ecobee Thermostat, the list goes on. Most of these devices probably sound very familiar to you all, as they are some of the forefront "smart home" artificial intelligence agents. Smart spaces and smart homes are becoming more and more prevalent around the globe. In addition to these smaller spaces, smart cities are flourishing at an exponential rate. According to Forbes, "A smart city is one that leverages technology to increase efficiencies and improve the quality of services and life for its residents. Smart city initiatives can cover anything from power distribution, transport systems, street lights, and even rubbish collection. The idea is to use data and technology to make everyday life easier and better for the people who live and work in the city, while maximizing the use of resources" (2020). Some attributes of smart cities are: safety, security, financial sustainability, green environments, transit planning, citizen- participative local governments, information gathering, communication, and technology enabled public services. All of these aspects can contribute to making a city more efficient and productive.
Some of the "smartest" cities in the US include: Austin, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, and New York City. Within these cities, you may find things such as Citi bikes, smart kiosks, street light sensors, stop light sensors, free public Wi-Fi, and soon... 5G networks. All of these things are possible thanks to what Forbes calls a "Perfect Storm" of technology trends. These trends consist of artificial intelligence, big data, the Internet of Things, and autonomous vehicles. One particular advancement that stands out to me is the ability to decrease crime in
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cities and make them safer. Real-time video cameras are set up all throughout Bourbon street in New Orleans to help Police detect crimes in the act. This helps to improve citizen safety, as well as boosting incident response times and recording evidence of the criminals. As the years go on, smart cities will only continue to develop. It will be interesting to see what comes next. My dad keeps telling me that one day we will no longer be driving cars ourselves, they will all be self-driving. Right now it is hard for me to picture that, but I'm sure he is correct. The possibilities of smart cities seem endless, and I am curious to hear what you guys think will come next! It is definitely interesting to think about! :)
What role will artificial intelligence play in smart cities of the future? What are some dangers or challenges of smart cities? How can smart cities help to create a more sustainable future?
Buntz, Brian. (2019). The smartest cities in the U.S. Retrieved from, https://www.americancityandcounty.com/2019/05/08/the-smartest- cities-in-the-u-s/.
Forbes. (2020). The smart cities of the future: 5 ways technology is changing our cities. Retrieved from, https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2020/07/02/the-smart- cities-of-the-future-5-ways-technology-is-transforming-our- cities/#6fdf9ddf73f8.
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DISCUSSIONS: IT Trends Discussions & Directions - IFSM 495 6381 Trends and Practical Applications in Information Systems Management (2208) Student Leaders: If you are assigned a topic below, it is your responsibility to research the topic and create a 3-4 paragraph “report” on what the trend is, why it is important and, if appropriate, relate how that trend would complement or fit in with the primary project for this class, the business case. Not all will relate directly, but to the extent that you can tie the topic to what we are doing, the better. Be sure to give credit to your sources. You should pose 3 to 4 thought-provoking questions for your classmates. You are expected to “host” the discussion for your own topic, monitoring it closely throughout the week, answering any questions, responding to postings, furthering the conversation, etc. Failing to do so will have a negative impact on your grade. These topics should be posted by midnight Wednesday Eastern Time. Student Leaders for the week are expected to read all main topics but are not required (but ARE encouraged) to respond to other trend discussions that week.
Other Students: Students who do not have an assigned topic for that week are to post at least one substantive comment (or comment and question) in each of the student-led discussions by Saturday. This is the minimum requirement; for an "A" in weekly participation, note that more than the specified number of responses are required. Your
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comments should demonstrate critical thinking, extend the conversation and add to the class. Responses should be more than just one or two sentences.
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DISCUSSIONS: IT Trends Discussions & Directions What Is Big Data?
Big data is data acquired from relatively new sources that are greater and more complex than traditional data. These data sets are so voluminous that traditional data processing software cannot manage them (Oracle, 2020). These substantial sets of data can be used to address business problems that traditional data does not reveal. What big data and traditional data have in common is that both of are no use until value is discovered. The primary difference is the scale of problems that can be solved for each set. Recent surges in technology have made data easier and less expensive to store, allowing enterprises to make accurate and precise business decisions (Oracle, 2020). The rise of big data came right at the opening of the millennium with sites like YouTube, Facebook, and other internet sites gaining momentum with users and everyday use (Oracle, 2020). Big data solutions were also on the rise, prompting the development of open source frameworks. It was this development that lead to the accessibility of big data, leading to the rise of its storage and use. Humans were crucial in the initial procurement of this data, but now household items can even provide data as society shifts towards the Internet of Things (IoT) (Oracle, 2020).
Practical Application of Big Data Big data provides more complete solutions because it is more information. Precise answers and specific solutions create a greater
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sense of trust in the data, allowing companies to operate at their own tempos versus responding to the market. Below are just a few examples of big data that is used or obtained in everyday life. • Advertising Metrics – Firms can identify at a micro level how effective or ineffective an advertisement is (Rice, 2020). • Amazon Targeted Advertising – Amazon uses big data from consumers to advertise items you are likely to buy based on personal purchasing habits (Rice, 2020). • Navigation- Navigation applications have gone from providing an “estimated time of arrival” to a precise time of arrival based on data like accidents, traffic, and weather (Rice, 2020). • Emergency Dispatching – RAPIDSOS in conjunction with Apple, Android, and Uber are providing emergency dispatchers with emergency relevant data from phones and wearables so data can reach them in a much more reliable manner (Rice, 2020). • Netflix Movies and Thumbnail - It is common knowledge that Netflix uses data to predict what users are likely to find entertaining. What most people do not know is that Netflix uses pause-point data to create trailers and thumbnail photos. Netflix successfully used big data for House of Cards by predicting the third season would be a hit based on the lead actor, the director, and user watch history (Rice, 2020). Conflict of Big Data In the age of technology big data has gone from a company’s possession to capital. Companies claiming information they acquired through a transaction has always been an issue. The consumer has a right to feel uncomfortable with their information being used without compensation, but consumers do have a choice to shop anywhere. Business owner feel entitled to this information because for years they have been using it to make better products and provide better service,
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and no one has had an issue with this. Additionally, executive teams are obligated to gain capital and leverage that capital to make profits for shareholders. This argument This brings up three thought provoking questions. What rights should consumers have over their data? What rights should enterprises/businesses have over consumer data? If enterprises can treat data as capital, where should society draw the line on what type of data can collected, analyzed, and sold?
Oracle. (2020). What Is Big Data? Retrieved September 10, 2020, from https://www.oracle.com/big-data/what-is-big-data.html Rice, M. (2020, April 6). 17 Big Data Examples & Applications. Retrieved September 10, 2020, from https://builtin.com/big-data/big- data-examples-applications
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