Will video conferencing become part of the new normal after we emerge from our cocoons? Without the combination of easy-to-use devices, resilient broadband, and cloud services, it simply wouldn’t be possible to provide the kind of visual/aural/interactive experiences that are allowing groups of people of all ages, abilities, and locales to learn, work, play, worship and mingle together. So, from those of us at home, thank you to the people who are maintaining and expanding this critical infrastructure. And thank you to the brave and selfless first responders and health workers who are on the front lines and don’t have the luxury of physical distancing through broadband.
A couple of weeks ago, memory guru, Tom Coughlin of Coughlin Associates, wrote an interesting article in Forbes on the sudden demand for broadband and how that could have a ripple effect on memory in the data center. Coughlin cited data from OpenVault’s March report showing a 41% increase in business hour data demand. Knowing both of these parties, it seemed like a good idea to connect them in conversation, which we will be having this Friday, 4/3/20 at 1:30 PST. Registration is not required, although we will have the chat going if you go directly to the YouTube channel.
COVID-19 is driving at least a temporary shift to online learning, as evidenced by the many college and K-12campuses across America that have closed their buildings and moved to virtual classes instead. Perhaps U.S. schools can take a lesson from their Italian counterparts who have been resourceful in finding ways to connect with their students during a time of shutdown. 8×8 Chairman and CTO, Bryan Martin, speaks to ViodiTV about the lessons they are learning from helping Italian schools migrate from self-hosted instances of the open-source Jitsi video conferencing to 8×8’s managed version.
Dell’Oro: Cloud Services to benefit from COVID-19; CAPEX to increase by Alan Weissberger
According to a recently published report from Dell’Oro Group, Cloud data center capex is forecasted to be higher this year despite challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tier 1 Cloud service providers are due to resume spending on servers following a pause in 2019. Dell’Oro calculated that the top ten cloud service providers, in aggregate, spent US$66 billion on data center infrastructure during 2019, which was a 3% annual increase.
CORD-19 Initiative, AI, Data Science and Chatbots to Combat COVID-19 by Alan Weissberger
On March 16th, researchers from the Allen Institute for AI, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), Microsoft, and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health released the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19) of scholarly literature about COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, and the Coronavirus group. With that objective in mind, the White House issued a call to action to artificial intelligence experts to develop new text and data mining techniques that can help the science community answer high-priority scientific questions related to COVID-19.
Summary of IEEE Ethical Standards for Robotics and AI by Alan Weissberger
Should robots and artificial intelligence (AI) be used to improve the human condition and enhance productivity or are they only to be used to increase revenue and profits for the companies pursuing those technologies? Can they be trusted to make decisions without human intervention? What about robotic or AI accidents/mishaps? Alan Winfield, Professor of Robot Ethics at UWE Bristol, addressed those questions along with other issues in his keynote speech on IEEE Ethical Standards at the March 6th Santa Clara University Machine Learning Symposium.
Two former Carnegie Melon faculty members, who happen to be brothers, discuss how they are taking a pragmatic approach of adding automation to long-haul trucking. Their company, Locomation, has come up with a package to upgrade an existing big rig that is simple as replacing a mirror with a new mirror assembly that includes of lidar, radar, camera sensors, and radios. A big difference between this and other approaches to automation is that it relies on the human driver to be the “cognitive filter”, while increasing truck utilization from 30 to around 90%.
#TBT to one of the first #videophones priced for consumers. Even though 2004 seems like a long time ago in Silicon Valley years, the conversation with @BryanMartin8x8 of @8×8 is still relevant today as we talk about many-to-many, the role of advertising and video conferencing etiquette.
- Share your unused computer power to help find a cure. https://foldingathome.org
- Here is some kid-friendly programming from Roger Bindl available to all NCTC members who are providing their customers with FireTV devices.
- Good summary of the CARES Act/Stimulus on the ACA website.
The following video was supposed to be a preview of the transition of John Higginbotham into Rob Shema’s role at ACA Connects. In a normal world, you can bet that ACA Connects would have formally recognized the new and now former ACA Connects EVP Member Services & Finance/Chief of Staff, respectively, in some memorable way at the ACA Summit (which, unfortunately, had to be canceled). It was a privilege to capture this special moment with these two industry leaders at NCTC’s Winter Education Conference in February.
Congratulations Rob on his new role as CEO at Com Net, Inc, the Ohio-based regional fiber network. And John, welcome to and congratulations on your new role at ACA Connects