Welcome to the first episode of the Productive AI podcast.

The goal of this podcast is to simplify Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning so you can understand how to apply it to your organization. I have a 25+ year background in IT, computing, networking, and most recently, 12 of that was spent focused on cloud computing infrastructure, networking, and security. I have worked with the world’s largest telcos, the big 5 US-based web companies, Global 100 Enterprise customers and State and Local government. I’ve built my own companies and also been an early team member in 5 cloud startups, all of which were acquired by larger companies. I’ve also worked in two startup teams inside larger companies.

It has become clear to me that the next phase of computing is really all about AI and Machine learning. In the same way that cloud drove a massive overhaul of the IT industry, AI and Machine learning will do the same.  The work we’ve done in cloud computing storage, big data and analytics systems has laid this groundwork for an explosion in AI.

AI is not new. It started roughly 60 years ago and we’re now in its third major wave. This wave seems to have some room to grow, because it is solving real-world problems now. While it has had down periods (“AI winters”), it feels like this time it’s different. AI is today where cloud computing was 12 years ago and AWS launched with S3 and a command line interface. It was strange and new and only developers knew about it or took it seriously. We all know how that played out.What you have now in the AI market is a few early adopters creating massive business advantage and competitive advantage with the next round of companies having done proof-of-concepts and pilots the last few years and some of them are now looking at how to scale. But the vast majority of the market is just now saying “maybe we need to start taking this seriously.”

At this stage of a new market you see a lot of confusion. and you you also get a Cambrian explosion of new startups. Worse, you get non-AI companies rebranding themselves as AI companies to get press, funding, or to try to maintain relevance. We saw this happen with the cloud market and we are seeing it now.

We will be having conversations with four groups: builders, buyers, doers, and analysts.

The builders could include startups, product teams inside larger already established software companies, platform vendors like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon with their AI/ML platforms, the fourth could be AI services companies ranging from the Big Four with their AI/data practice teams all the way down to small boutique consulting firms.

The second group will be the buyers and buying teams - these are the poeple trying to create new competitive advantage. For them, the conversation witill be ffocused omore on the ecosystem and how it’s develiping. We’ll also discuss how to put together your own portfolio of startups, AI-products, AI platforms, and AI services from outside vendors and integrate it all into your own existing IT at a cultural and technical level.

The third group will be the doers that work for the buying teams - these are the project implementation teams working in the trenches every day who are wrestling with how to get this stuff out of the lab and into the real world. They will be leveraging the tools that the builders built. The goal is to have them share lessons learned to help others coming behind them to perhaps speed up their own projects.

The last group will be the industry analysts. We want to speak with them about how the ecosystem is develpiing at the 100,000 foot view. Those conversations will be about giving a macro view on the indsutry so that buyers, builders, or doers. have a more clear idea of where we are in the is market at this moment in time and what’xs coming next. Also, what building blocks are going to be put in place this year, vs. next year?

That brings us to the end of the introductory episode. Our goal is to simplify AI so that you know what it is and what it isn’t, what ic an do today and what it will do tomorrow. We’ll be having these conversations with the builders, buyers, doers, and analysts. We look forward to having you join us on the next episode.