I spent the last 3 days at the 2013 AIIM Conference in New Orleans, featuring a multitude of visionaries and speakers including Seth Godin, Thornton May, David Pogue, and others; on topics ranging from social organizations, information management, and mobile device trends as they relate to business. The following 3 tidbits have little direct relevance to document classification and recognition, but for those of us who enjoy technology and trends, you should enjoy.
1) This year is not last year
There are some conferences where you begin to feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Every year feels like the previous. This was not one of them. Last years overriding themes were Big Data and Social Enterprise; this year there was a lot more discussion on Information Governanceespecially in the context of mobility and BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device.
Perhaps Big Data is just becoming the new normal. And thats good. Well all see more clearly when we dont let the definitions overwhelm us and can start dealing with the fact that how we leverage and manage the information in our organizations matters more than what we call it. And to that end, the data shows that organizations that can optimize their peoples interaction with information grow at astounding rates.
As to governance and BYOD, there are a lot of open questions. Organizations are struggling to control information that is taking on a life of its own, and can literally walk out of the building on less-than-secure consumer devices. Do we try and secure these devices? How do we do it, without creating a layer of security so cumbersome that people circumvent it using consumer tools as they already are?
2) 1 gram of DNA can store 700 terabytes
Vince Kellen, CIO of University of Kentucky presented the results of a Harvard science experiment, finding that one gram of DNA can be manipulated to store an incredible 700 terabytes of data. While access and retrieval are noted as slow, the medium itself is expected to be stable for around 400,000 years (I think that qualifies as indefinitely). Sure beats tape! But what this incredible breakthrough really illustrates is that we are living in the absolute beginning of this era of information, and this is going to evolve quickly beyond any level of understanding we currently have today. Everything changes. Virtually everything can be recorded and stored.
3) Peak silicon is near, and will change how we manage information
In the same session, we learned that peak silicon, or the point where we can no longer cram more processing power into a square inch of silicon, is probably 5 to 10 years out. This could theoretically slow the progress of Moores Law, which states that the amount of processing power available (as a function of the number of transistors on a chip) doubles every 18 months. That law has basically held true since 1958, and has also applied to related technology, such as storage.
Peak silicon will be an interesting time. It may be some time before biological and quantum computing are realized, so we may enter a period of relative scarcity for processing power (assuming the demand for processing grows as much as the supply has). If this is the case, I would expect to see tremendous improvement in algorithms in order to compensateeffectively working smarter, not harder. Where does this take us? Will information start to create information on its own?
In the end, AIIM 2013 was a thought-provoking event, with some great speakers and visionaries doing their best to paint a murky picture of the information landscape that is in front of us. From Parascripts little corner of the information landscape, we know that document capture is just the beginning. The use of paper is slowly waning, but with the bulk of new content created being image-based (i.e. video), the need for image-based information analysis is truly in its infancy.
Did you attend? What did you find most thought-provoking?