Category Archives: IT History

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Demystifying the latest buzzword

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Demystifying the latest buzzword

Everywhere you turn today someone is talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI). It appears to have taken over as the largest buzzword since Big Data.

Progressive organizations are actively seeking ways to apply AI. They want to use it to advance their businesses and build new experiences for those they interact with internally and externally.

Alas there is great confusion as to what AI means. That just gets worse when people mix that up with terms such as Machine Learning and Deep Learning. If you ask several different people their view on what is AI, or Machine Learning, you will get several different answers.

AI ElephantIt is the age-old problem of describing an elephant dependent on which side of it you touch while blindfolded.

AI is not a new topic. People have been pursuing AI since the 1940s. Machine Learning, which has developed from the field of Artificial Intelligence, has been around since at least the 1980s and Deep Learning, which is a subset of Machine Learning, has been rapidly gaining in popularity over the past 10 years. This post explores all these topics setting the scene for some upcoming posts.

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Safe Harbor – Personal Data Of EU Citizens Not Safe In The USA?

Safe HarborSafe Harbor is no more. Well Safe Harbor still exists but following a ruling in the European Court of Justice it has now been ruled as an invalid mechanism to protect the data and privacy of European Union citizens personal data when it is moved to the USA from the EU. In essence this is a damning statement that says European Citizen personal data was never safe from certain parties in the USA.

TThis is down to the fact that the US government is perceived as having used that transmitted data to spy on citizens (as alleged by Edward Snowdon). There is no suggestion of bad behaviour by US organizations themselves who generally offer much better protection than many companies could develop and maintain themselves.

Exactly what this means is still being worked on. I suspect it will mean a lot of scrambling and head scratching for the many organizations (estimated at about 4500) who use Safe Harbor. Those organizations use it to enable them to run a centralized internal IT platform which supports their entire global operations, to offer centralized platforms for consumers hosted and run totally out of the US and for companies who move data around as part of their general business approach.

This week I had a number of non-IT friends ask me what this was all about. Mainly these questions are coming as the ruling is making news headlines around Europe. This post is a summary of what I tried to explain to them. Safe Harbor is something most people never knew existed in the first place and it is amazing it has taken over our televisions.

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The factors that drove the growth of Hadoop

Originally published on SAS Voices

elephant-684600_1280In the first instalment of this series on Hadoop, I shared a little of Hadoop’s genesis, framing it within four phases of connectivity that we are moving through. I also stated my belief that Hadoop has already arrived in the mainstream, and we are currently moving from phases three of connecting people to phase four of connecting devices and things.

In this post I want to cover my views on the developments that have allowed Hadoop to break free from the Silicon Valley bubble and appeal to organizations of all sizes.

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How Hadoop emerged as one of the most important Big Data technologies

Originally posted on SAS Voices

elephant-158556_1280In the world of IT, very few new technologies emerge that are not built on what came before, combined with a new, emerging need or idea. The history of Hadoop is no exception.

To understand how Hadoop came to be, we therefore need to understand what went before Hadoop that led to its creation. To understand why Hadoop stagnated for a few years we need to understand how it was initially used. To understand why Hadoop is now accelerating in its adoption, we need to look at what is happening now and where we are headed.

Looking back at the phases of evolution that led to the emergence and incubation of Hadoop along with the current and future path of the technology can help us understand why it has gained in importance and where the hype is coming from.

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