Computers and Technology
There’s no point in denying it. I’ve always been a gadget freak and a computer nerd. It all started with Commodore 64 when I was a kid and soon came the Amigas and PC’s. Some of the PC’s in the 1990’s I built myself from meticulously selected components. Sounds crazy today, but it wasn’t uncommon at the time.
It goes without saying that I’ve always been interested in mobile phones too, and anything mobile for that matter. I hated Apple and Macintosh up until 2010, but since then I've had a lot of Apple products and today I couldn't live without my 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina.
I’ve never been a good programmer and I'll never become one. I have no problems in admitting this fact. I knew it already at the age of 13. While I was struggling to produce simple programs with Turbo Pascal, some of my friends were effortlessly writing stuff in Assembler (that is more or less machine code). They subsequently became great programmers. This is also the reason why my university studies in computer science never focused on algorithms or programming, but instead on management of software engineering processes.
I still believe that in order to become a great programmer, you have to start early and you need an aptitude for mathematics and algorithms. Otherwise you’ll just end up being an "okay programmer", which is totally fine because the world needs them too. At least until machine learning develops to the point where computers write most of our basic code.
Instead of being a programmer, I’ve always been more of an application guy, trying to figure out what you can do by combining different applications and services. Operating systems have also been of a particular interest, and I still catch myself spending way too much time tweaking Mac OS or Windows.
These days it’s very hard to keep up with all the technological developments. There simply isn’t enough time to keep myself sufficiently informed. Nevertheless I try to follow what’s going on in the war of ecosystems (Apple - Google - Microsoft) and in machine learning and artificial intelligence. I also keep my eyes on the development of quantum computing, as it might be exactly what’s needed for taking machine learning to the next level.
Summary of blog posts on Computers and Technology
I’ve noticed that many still view artificial intelligence (AI) as something that only exists in sci-fi movies or in the fantasies of tech geeks. This mindset is paradoxical considering that most of us are in fact carrying an AI with us all the time.
More and more rumours are coming out about “Project Titan”, which is allegedly the code name for Apple’s electric car initiative. It’s now considered an “open secret” by almost everyone.
How would you feel if 40% of your business would be at risk of slowly melting away? That’s exactly the situation most property and casualty (P&C) insurance companies are facing. Autonomous driving is despite all the social benefits an obvious threat to the bread and butter business of insurers.
Tesla Model S, photographed in Switzerland by James Lipman // jameslipman.com
Google is investing a lot in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). Probably more than any other company. The good news is that Google has set up an AI ethics board. The bad news is that they don’t disclose the individuals on that board or what the board actually does.
Just as I decided to start learning how to make videos they tell us it’s already old school. Virtual Reality is the future.
For a long time I endured annoying online ads. But no more. Now I use an adblocker and I encourage everybody else to install one too.
I can easily remember when the world's most valuable companies were two oil companies, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell. Today the most valuable companies are two tech companies Google and Apple. And in that particular order as of February 2nd.
Let’s assume that there will come a day when we have accessible and efficient quantum computing services in the cloud. It's obvious that this would open many doors. It could also be dangerous.