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 By KS Nayar

It’s obvious that our imagination is running wild, and faster. It’s so particularly among the young compared to their parent’s generation.

While most elders are perceived to be ‘conservative’, the young generation is quick to accept technology. They believe in its inevitable role in social and economic transformation.

While it may be better to err on the side of caution, some amount of fantasizing about sci-fiction themes should be acceptable. There are themes that ignite the imagination among the young. It drives human ingenuity.

People should not remain helpless bystanders as technology is on rollercoaster. When we deconstruct the ongoing tech evolution – advancements in autonomous vehicles to datamining – it is no longer justifiable to demand to remain outside the change.

We need to continually move on the challenging and unfathomable road of tech developments. Otherwise we will become fossilized species. Embrace technology and drive on.

Just a year ago, an Uber self-driving vehicle killed a woman while she was crossing the street. The shocking incident initially froze the optimism over the feasibility of autonomous driving becoming a universal phenomenon.

However, this incident is not stopping auto engineers and software developers in their track. It is certainly time for introspection. But the race for driverless vehicles should go on.

Although Uber ceased testing on public roads for nine months, like other companies it continues to work on technologies that are expected to drastically reduce road accidents. Thanks to the undying scientific spirit, the saga of pursuing the challenges ahead is still intact.

A major component in the development of autonomous vehicles is artificial intelligence. AI will be driving our future that will dwell into the vast ocean of data.

Data is the DNA of the present and the future. From managing production lines to smartphones, from robotic surgery to space travel every aspect that will touch our lives are and will be data-driven.

Power of DNA

Datamining reflects a paradigm shift in the continuing progress of our civilization. Scientists are now exploring molecular biology while studying the possibility to embed data in synthetic DNA.

It’s said that one gram of human DNA, for example, can hold up to 455 exabytes (1 EB is equivalent to 1 billion gigabytes). In other words 44 Zettabyte (1ZB or 12 billion gigabytes) of data that the world is expected to produce by 2020 can be stored in 97 grams of DNA.

Researchers have already started experiments to retrieve data stored in synthetic DNA. Such work, when progressed further, will revolutionize computing in a way that cannot be imagined now. It’ll certainly make present computer storage systems obsolete.

When data storage in DNA becomes commercially feasible, the intersection of microbiology and computing will open up a new vista before us. In this context, corporate chieftains must take a relook at their strategies in utilizing data for building better bottom lines.

CEOs should ensure that employees are made data savvy though continuous training and skill development. They should become intensely aware that every bit of data is important in running the business. Data mining should become integral to corporate strategy for growth.

A company that respects the importance of collection and analysis of data would be way ahead of the competition. It is, therefore, important that CEOs should emphasize that learning and development (L&D) should get embedded in the DNA of every employee.

Employees across all categories should be exposed to L&D innovation through a clutch of media such as classroom learning and on-demand learning through diverse options that are available such as mobile apps and interactive learning platforms.

Corporate leaders should become aware that in the digital world, evolving strategic innovation as a competitive differentiator requires education in data analysis and interpretation.

Continuing education is inevitable to achieve corporate success. ‘Learn, learn’ should be the mantra. If company leadership ignores that, it will find itself in the dustbin of corporate failure. Continuous learning should be in the DNA of every firm.


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