Some interesting points made by Bill Gates in a recent keynote. I’ve noted sections of the speech that were of interest to me (click on the link below to read the full text).
The idea of recording interactions, automatically generating transcriptions and making such information available via search reinforces my belief that organizations will need to think about the pro's and con's of pervasive surveillance. The downside is anchored around confidentiality, security, privacy and so on ("they need to know" mentality). But the upside is quite transformational. Having this type of transparency ("the right to know" mentality) can create connections between people that can result in improved decision making and foster innovation. Ultimately I believe organizations will deploy such services and create the business version of Tivo. Users will be able to discover, playback and observe all types of meetings and have the capability to subsequently engage those participants and provide feedback to them in some manner.
The idea of open posting of information (the MIT example) is another compelling trend. Today, we often target information to people. If we flip that notion of pushing information to the people we think need to know, and instead post information in a more broadcast, or stream-like fashion, then we can use various sensor/watcher/filter mechanisms to pull the information not only to the people that need to know but also to the people we could never imagine were interested in that information. This trend has me wondering about the role "event stream processing" will have on communication strategies.
Also note the comment regarding the demise of the PBX. The notion of voice as just another data type supported by software applications communicating over common network services will continue to disrupt the business and technology models of traditional communication providers.
..... This is incredibly revolutionary. It's not just taking things like the shorts that you see on something like YouTube, but it's taking meetings in the company, and taking a cheap digital camera, and being able to record it, and have the software prepare a transcript of what was said, have the software actually do the direction to know who's speaking at what time, and then letting people later who want to find a portion of that, look it up, actually see the parts that they're most interested in.
Corporate training will change utterly. Even education, the idea that all the lectures are going online for free, universities like MIT have decided that, yes, they'll put their videos up, and anybody can come in and see them, so other universities will do that as well. So, for a student who's interested in a topic can go out and learn whatever you want, just getting one of these videos. They put the tests online as well.
And so that promises to create new opportunities in education where teachers can take other people's material, either their lectures or the way they demonstrate things, the way they take something like global warming or rockets or volcanoes, and explain those, you can take the digital parts of that, both video, animation, photos, and edit those things, and use them for your class.
So, the idea for the first time we get sharing and improvement of teaching through this digital medium and the magic of software, that's going to become a reality.
Educational institutions will have to think, OK, do they do lectures, do they do study groups, do they do accreditation, and you'll see some specialization that will make it a far more effective realm.
..... The dreams we have about software are very ambitious. We see that things like taking the soundtrack and doing speech recognition to create that transcript, that's been a dream for a long time, we've been working over 15 years on that. The software that does that kind of speech recognition is getting far better.
Even machine translation, which has been a very difficult challenge, there's progress that documents of certain types, like technical documents, we can do that quite well.
As we're seeing more and more cameras connected up, even visual recognition is becoming something of interest, so that we can recognize objects.
..... We have a goal literally to make business programming require a tenth the code that it requires today. Microsoft is now using a process we call our Quest process where we write down our dreams about software, and say what will the office look like 10 years from now when the cameras and the screens and the communications are different, when there is no PBX but it's all done over the Internet, how will that look. What will the home look like as the projection screens and the Internet TV and the great mobile devices are there? And so we write that down, and we see what software breakthroughs or business intelligence or workflow or security will be required to do that, and then we match the quest with the product plans and see that they're moving towards that ultimate capability.