Ushering in the Intelligence Era

By: H.O. Maycotte

The human-machine partnership will dominate our headlines for the foreseeable future.

I don’t believe in a dystopian future where we simply become machine’s best friend. Nor do I believe in a Mad Max ending where we revolt against the machine. Instead, humans and machines, like any partnership in life, will not only learn to work together in symbiosis, but in doing so will radically transform our future—a future based on a collective superintelligence.

The possibilities are endless, but not everything about this transition to the intelligence era will be smooth. In fact, we are already seeing some major challenges in our early innings. No matter what you call it—machine learning, data science, or artificial intelligence—industry captains in every segment of business are starting to partner with machine intelligence to make better decisions. Over the next ten years we will witness the world go from human-led decisions, to decisions that are human-governed, to machine-led decisions, and in some cases to decisions being fully machine-governed.

As we reach this jumping-off point, building trust with machines won’t be easy. While I can’t predict how the next ten years will unfold exactly, I am betting that machines will need and want all of the data that we can make available to them, instantly. I am betting my career and those of my colleagues and investors that the key building block of this next era will be data, and most importantly, that data will no longer be consumed by humans first.

Unfortunately, enterprises today are in a terrible position on the data front, and few infrastructures are AI-ready. Data engineering teams are drowning in Hadoop soup and still figuring out how to integrate BI tools. Data science teams are stuck building this future with flawed OLAP cubes and small, incomplete data samples to do their work. In the meantime, we humans are still making most of the world’s decisions on a mere 1% of the available data.

It is time that we help guarantee the future of intelligence and start with a clean slate, while at the same time honoring and respecting the investments and innovations brought to us by our IT forefathers. Today, as part of the founding team at Molecula, I put a stake in the ground and declare the end of the information era and the beginning of what we believe will give rise to the most impactful wave of innovation the world has ever seen: the human-machine partnership.

This is a future where complex data infrastructures will become as trivial for the end user as writing a few lines of code. Data Engineers and Data Scientists will move from “slow AI” to “fast AI” by becoming allies and focusing on regaining productivity losses and margin erosion. IT leaders will no longer have to fear a punishing and ever-changing legislative environment, and they can leave their source data where it is jurisdictionally, politically, and technically ideal, while at the same time seamlessly and securely virtualizing their data wherever decisions need to be made. Researchers who were once corporate adversaries will now be able to confidently pool their data without fear of breaking laws or jeopardizing their clients’ privacy. This data network will allow them to better train and scale models, and in turn bring us new cures and advances in quality of life.

The end result of all of our effort will be to strengthen the human-machine partnership by leveraging the biological wonders of human creativity and ingenuity, while letting machines do the analytical dirty work. We can’t build this vision alone, so if this future excites you, please join us in leading this journey. We need teammates, clients, contributors, partners, advisors, lobbyists, friends, and more than anything, an open mind.

In short, don’t be afraid to get cozy with the machines. As the intelligence era is upon us, we will one day forget how we ever got along without them.