My SAP Radio 2019 Prediction: A Golden Age for Human Intelligence

I was honored yesterday to be one of the panelists in one of a series of SAP Radio 2019 prediction shows, hosted by Bonnie D. Graham. You can catch a recording of the session Voice America site or below. 

I’m on at 21′ in — here’s a rough transcript of what I talked about:

“My prediction for 2019 is that we’re at the start of a new golden age for human intelligence. 

I’ve been working in data and analytics for around 30 years. And that whole time, it’s been perfectly clear what business people want — easy, intuitive access to all the data they need to run the business. 

But the technology just hasn’t been there. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, I helped launch a whole series of products — BusinessMiner, predictive analytics for the masses, Intelligent Query that allowed you to ask questions in everyday language, and even a tool for querying using voice. But it turned out that none of these were viable or usable in real-world situations. 

But we’ve reached a tipping point, and the technology has finally caught up with our aspirations. These technologies are transforming every aspect of business and being adopted at phenomenal speeds. For example, Gartner just revealed that machine learning implementations tripled last year last year alone.

For analytics, it means that we can finally deliver the kinds of dashboards that business people have been dreaming about for over forty years — easy, real-time access to information about every aspect of their business, literally at their fingertips. 

And just as the mechanical era allowed a single farmer to plough hundreds of acres using a single tractor, I think we’re poised to see the same sort of thing, but with algorithms augmenting human intelligence. 

I truly believe that knowledge workers will be able to do vastly more, in less time, than ever before, and so it’s going to be golden age for humans, and human intelligence. “