This concept has been at least 5++ years in the making. Procrastination and lost motivation prevented its breakout into the world until now. At long last, we are here. I sincerely hope it really helps you and many others understand conceptually where the world of “Human + AI” and the automation of automation is moving towards.
We are just at the beginning of an entirely new phase of Human + AI evolution which enables further and further automation. Capabilities related to automating data and tasks with AI have surfaced which were not possible before.
Back in 2015-2017 before I found something that really interested me related to helping others (which was data technology that actually scaled and was flexible – Snowflake), I was fascinated by what I saw as the convergence of Data – AI – Automation. At that time I had founded and been running my own consulting firm for over ~16 years and honestly I was burned out. I was tired of the continuous never ending ups and downs and ins and outs with the daily operations, administration, selling, and providing high quality consulting solutions. We had done amazing work that had delivered massive results and true value to our clients and society overall. We had some of the best and brightest employees over the years that used their experience with us to become leaders of technology and companies or MBAs at Stanford or PhDs at MIT. But but but… the world was ever evolving to lower cost and more and more offshore outsourcing and let’s face it for someone who thrives on fast learning and innovation I was probably sort of stuck.
For pretty much my entire adult life I had been solving problems mostly related to improving and automating processes within organizations especially marketing, sales, and operations with the latest technology solutions. From Stevens Institute of Technology (Student) to the United States Air Force (USAF Officer) to CitySearch to Universal Studios to running consulting companies including IT Strategists. We founded IT Strategists in 1999 when I started my MBA program at UCLA and also got married. It had not resonated with me at the time but I had been lucky enough to be part of major paradigm shifts within business and technology from the 1990s until now.
This deep experience with technology and data evolution combined with my experiences in leadership and education as a military officer, an engineering BSEE graduate, an MBA Student at UCLA, and an ever-learning business/technology consultant and engineer provided me with different perspectives. It allowed me to use technology and data to learn faster and use advanced techniques of automation to provide more value.
BEGIN KEY CONCEPT – The Automation of Automation
All things run on some form of interactions of inputs and outputs. Everything and I mean everything is connected in some way. Organizations (especially corporations) and humans have spent countless efforts silo-ing BOTH Data and AI until recently. With the convergence of cloud, compute capability, and generative AI we now see a continuous movement towards more and more automation with Data and AI. This force is creating massive shifts to faster, easier, and better(?) functionality which joins data to ai in ways we have never seen before.
Technology is enabling the connection of data to more and other data. More automated processes to more data and more outputs of value. More automation of content creation and distribution. More measurement of processes through data. Easier and more automated categorization and automation of just about everything and anything.
The key idea of the Automation of Automation
My concept around this “Automation of Automation” has some conceptual relationship to Neural Networks and even Transistor technology or how ML/AI works. *Conceptually it’s the act of taking your “automated process” and connecting it to another “automation”. This is the automation of automation. With more data connectivity and collaboration combined with GenAI and other infrastructure improvements, we now have the capability to connect data and processes and outcomes like never before. This enables an Automation of Automations or Connections of Connections tools which enable both “business” and “technology” personas to build continuous connected automations of Data and AI.
While I had the concepts of the Automation of Automation long before chatgpt GenAI came out last year, GenAI chatbots are probably by far the most visible examples of the Automation of Automation concepts. To help you wrap your head around how Chatgpt or Bard (etc.) can be used to create multi-level automations then let’s go through this example.
EXAMPLE 1 – Generative AI Automations.
How to build a chrome extension with chatgpt in 5 minutes. This example demonstrates how you can take the output of an automation of Generative AI with Chatgpt further and further. In this situation instead of just the raw text and code produced by chatgpt I enhanced the prompt to deliver a completely usable zip file of code. The Automation of Automation will begin to take this even further to where that code can be automatically deployed, tested, released, distributed, etc. etc. Similarly, content and data classification can be categorized by Generative AI automations.
*NOTE: This is a simple example that I hope EVERYONE can understand. Since we are at the beginning of these capabilities, there are really endless possibilities and opportunities around Generative AI.
EXAMPLE 2 – The Zapier, IFTTT, etc. etc. etc.
Another trend over the last 10-15+ years has been the evolution of workflow technology across all of our connected applications and data flows. The simplest examples are the tools like Zapier and IFTTT (if this then that) which allow for data or action triggers to start the next step of a workflow automation. Or in the world of my expertise around Snowflake, companies like Fivetran have evolved to over 400 connectors of data sources over the last several years. Connecting more silos of data to more actions. *Then finally “data or task” activation companies and solutions like our partner Hightouch have evolved to “activate data” which really is just automating workflows or actions around inputs of data based on logic.
At a very very high level all of this is inputs and outputs and the automation of automation is our concept that these inputs and outputs can become continuous circular flows of improvement or can be changed together to create completely full automations without any human involvement at all.
Iif you take a step back and look at earth as if you were an astronaut in space, this gives way to Hyper Knowledge Creation, Hyper and Continuous Automated (and Semi-Automated) Collaboration, and Knowledge Usage both for good and evil.
Most of us 7 Billion ++ just are surviving or fighting our way to survive and live. We do not have time to see that these trends are MASSIVE. It is like connecting knowledge to more knowledge and more data (hopefully quality validated data and knowledge which evolve process and outcomes to provide more value to humanity) These new capabilities are starting a massive shift that will be just as big as agriculture to industry level type trends we saw 100+ years ago.
I’ll stop at this for now but the key takeaways are:
We have entered a new age now of really a Human + AI before further primarily AI evolution. It is just the start of the Connection of Connections and the ever evolving speed of Knowledge Creation and Evolution. Let me know what you think!
END KEY CONCEPT – The Automation of Automation
Coming Soon Concepts/Articles (a challenge to me)
- The Future of Data Collaboration – Take #2 – My latest on my 2022 article.
- The new Era of Hyper Knowledge Creation and Collaboration – Powered by GenAI.
- The Horrible Dangers of Copies of Data.
- What we accomplished at IT Strategists 1.0 or ITS 1.0.
- The non-stop quest for “More”, will we evolve with it or will it kill us.
Thanks for “reading” or “listening”!!
Hit me up in a DM or the comments if you have other thoughts on the core concepts. This article is both my coming out again to write on my areas of expertise (DATA – AI – AUTOMATION) as well as more insights of how these areas leverage the Snowflake Data Cloud and other technologies.
It is also a challenge to myself to have a purpose beyond retirement to share my concepts of where Human + AI is going in the short and long term and how it will change our evolution of business and society.