The Cognitive Revolution

Hello World!

So here is a pretty raw blog article; not unlike most of my articles.  The cognitive revolution.  I’m going to coin this term today.  What the heck is this thing?  What does it mean for you?  What does it mean for me?  Where did it come from?  What is it?  These are questions I aim to answer in this blog article.

What is the Cognitive Revolution

There is a product pipeline.  It begins as a concept and then it evolves into a solidified idea.  It eventually becomes a distributed idea that is actionable that then is researched and developed as a prototype.  After a while it eventually is made easier to use or developed.  Beyond that time frame it is then democratized and distributed until eventually it is so simple a child can create with it.  During these stages there is an obvious progression of usage and distribution from small distribution to sequentially larger.

Let us think about AI and Machine Learning for a minute within this context.  Particularly with regards to the recent hardware advances.  Consumer grade ML boards, like the NVidia TitanX are quite literally doubling the performance of algorithms and accelerating research, including my own 2 fold.  Just think of that.  Literally 2 fold the research capability from a consumer grade chip.

This step forward in hardware means that tools, such as CNTK and TensorFlow can take advantage of those capabilities, which further empowers the researchers building the Image Recognition and the Bones Detection algorithms we see in self driving cars to XBox games.

Those tools are then consumed by developers or surfaced as APIs to standard developers who can use them significantly cheaper for a large variety of applications and even in some instances, such as the Microsoft Custom Speach Inference Engine, extend them to completely new capabilities.

So what REALLY is the Cognitive Revolution

We are at a cross roads in our society where compute power and algorithms are beyond the power they ever have been and the frameworks for intelligence have been democratized to a level that intelligent individuals and not exclusively life dedicated scientists can use these tools to build intelligent services which can be filtered down to less dedicated individuals, who can leverage.

What I’m getting at here is that the complex has been simplified to an extent that non-experts can utilize the tools to deliver value.

The cognitive revolution really is the creation and simplification of hardware and the creation of simplified AI interfaces such that problems can be solved by those who are experts at problems and not domains.

This is the concept of the Cognitive Revolution.

What does the Cognitive Revolution Mean?

For me as a dedicated client facing Data Scientist and Machine Learning expert, this creates opportunity to focus on the problem and not the technique.  I can now focus on the art and the application of the science as opposed to the intricacies of the discipline itself as it relates to the discipline but rather the discipline of the customer and the domain of the customer.

What does this mean for others?  Well honestly it depends on where you sit in the stack.  There are a variety of opportunities across the board that are coming to fruition.  From tools developers to gap fillers.  As the tools become more and more sophisticated and executive level management begins to understand the value of these technologies, opportunities are created.  Those who understand the opportunities and the mechanisms to apply the technology will succeed.

Obviously to this date there are still struggles in this area and it is perhaps not as simple as I am illustrating as of course I personally face those challenges as well, but, the revolution is happening.

What can you do to be a part of the Revolution?

This is an interesting question.  I am actively taking part in the revolution.  Most know my goal is to lead this revolution from a world wide perspective.  I think this really boils down to what do you wish to achieve in life.  The parts of the revolution are obvious from low level tools and tool chain development to high level services on premise as well as cloud services development to customer project development and even personal business innovation.  This is one of the most creative fields to date.  By thinking analytically and creatively every single day you will take part in this revolution.

Community growth and activation is another key component of this revolution.  I have supported the growth of FTLML to excess of 600 members in South Florida.  Recall that this is not a key area for this type of innovation.  This is replicate-able in other areas.

Key public conventions and presentations.  The basis of this revolution is strong community and ecosystem in the area for these types of workloads.  These do not come out of thin air.  Demand must be generated for these.  Creative thinking and active participation as a presenter or attendee facilitates this.

Summary

I attempted to give a fairly raw article on this topic.  I pray I did well on that.  The point is that this revolution is dependent on creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, community, partnerships and value.  The thing is that AI and ML has come to a point where a revolution in how we program and think about problems should change.  We should facilitate and communicate this fundamental paradigm shift in computing.  Those who do not will be left behind.

Closing Call to Actions

This really is a section that is option in this article and a recommendation based on my learnings on what to focus on for your own success based on my own personal success.  I suggest going to the “AI with the Best” conference and checking out my 60 minute talk that dives deep into this topic for full conveyance of information.

  1. Learn Python & Tensor Flow
  2. Learn Flask w/Python
  3. Learn Cython
  4. Learn C++
  5. Do Everything on Ubuntu
  6. Learn Docker & Azure & Azure Containers
  7. Learn about Azure ML + Azure Cognitive Services.
  8. Take the Andrew NG Stanford Course

Yeah, yeah, yeah, its a load of Microsoft stuff from a Microsoft employee.  Whatever, this is the shit that got me where I am today and landed me all the customer gigs and credibility I currently have.  There was of course a transition from standard .net to R to Python etc but this is the list of, man, I wish I did that.  This isn’t a sales pitch.  This is my personal learnings made available to you.

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