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Futurist Kevin Surace On AI, IoT And Cloud: Solution Providers Have To Embrace The ‘Big Disruption’

Joseph F. Kovar

‘I do not have a crystal ball. … All I can do is help us take a little journey together three years, five years, 10 years into the future, maybe 20, and say, with these technologies coming along, what does the future look like for us? What does it look like for our businesses,’ says futurist and entrepreneur Kevin Surace at the NexGen 2021+ conference.

Trying To Make Sense Of The Data

There are three ways AI systems can learn from data, Surace said.

The first is supervised learning such as when a user gives an object a name and then feeds it many different photos of the thing so that the system learns to associate the pictures with the names, he said.

The second is unsupervised learning where one item is associated with another item with no regard to what any item is called, he said.

The third is reinforcement learning, which is reward-based, similar to how a mouse learns to navigate a maze by being rewarded with cheese when it goes in the right direction, he said. “[The mouse] just got to do the same task thousands of times, and it got really good at one task,” he said. ”That‘s what we’re doing with AI today. That’s what we’re doing with reinforcement learning.”

The training of AI leads to such functions as robotic process automation, which allows the automation of any process without touching the application, Surace said.

“So I can take 10 applications that used to take a person an hour and now it‘s just fully automated with RPA, which is absolutely fantastic. ... It’s faster and smarter. It’s 24 by seven. It’s factual. These are all reasons that we want to use this. And virtually any repetitive human task can leverage this technology, which is relatively light AI. And it’s not intrusive to your applications with all different kinds of frameworks,” he said.

 

 
Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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