In the context of embedded systems, I've started using the term “Advanced Technologies” to refer to things like cognitive (thinking / reasoning) systems, artificial neural networks, deep learning, machine vision, virtual and augmented realities. I'm particularly interested in how all these technologies are coming together, sometimes in strange, unusual, and mind-boggling ways.
The scary thing is how fast things are moving in this area. In the 2014 edition of the Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, for example, Machine Learning wasn't even on the radar. Just one year later, in the 2015 edition, Machine Learning had already past the Peak of Inflated Expectations.
They all laughed when I said we should have a dedicated “Advanced Technologies” track at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) in Boston, which will take place 3-4 May, 2017. And they all laughed when I said we should add a special “Advanced Technologies” section in this year's Embedded Markets Study. They aren't laughing now. (I'm sorry, I'm channeling the late, great English comedian, Bob Monkhouse, who famously once said: “They all laughed when I said I wanted to be a comedian. Well they aren’t laughing now!” )
In the case of the Embedded Markets Study (there's still time to take part, click here to start), we did indeed add a special “Advanced Technologies” section. I've been watching at the data as it comes in, and I must admit to being surprised myself. For example, a few months ago, I remember reading an article that said that it was expected that more than 50% of embedded systems would boast cognitive capabilities by 2020. At that time, I thought “Hmm, that's a little bold.” Well, in the case of our ongoing survey, I see that ~25% of respondents are including cognitive capabilities in the designs they are currently working on, and a whopping ~51% of respondents are considering cognitive technologies for their next project. Wow! That's much higher than I would have expected. (I will be presenting a summary of the results from this survey at ESC Boston.)
We also have an entire Advanced Technologies Track at ESC. As part of this, I'll be presenting a session titled: Advanced Technologies for 21st Century Embedded Systems on Wednesday May 3. In this session, I'll be discussing a wide variety of interesting — sometimes mind-blowing — deployments of these technologies.
Furthermore, we're going to be having a brain-stem-storming session on cognitive systems and their ilk in the Advanced Technologies Meet-Up on Thursday May 4 (this will immediately follow my Building an Artificial Brain presentation). This is a laid-back event where we just hang out and bounce our ideas, ruminations, and cogitations off each other.
In the case of this meet-up, I've been informed that “Snacks will be provided.” I sent a message to those who don the undergarments of authority and stride the corridors of power asking if there was any chance that these snacks might be bacon-flavored, but — thus far — silence has been the grim reply, as it were.
The great thing is that all my presentations will be taking place in the ESC Engineering Theatre, which means anyone can attend so long as they have a Free Pass, but this does require registration. Hopefully we'll see you there.
As always, I'll be the one in the Hawaiian shirt. And, as always, all you have to do if you see me ambling by is shout “Max, Bacon!” or “Max, Beer!” to be assured of my undivided attention.