Computers 1 Humans 0

It’s a reality – and one that becomes ever clearer, the more you travel and the more folk you meet – that the vast majority of people are actually quite stupid.

Without getting all political, events of the past 18 months have more than shown this to be the case at all levels. The problem for IT is: computers don’t realise this… It’s worth noting that in various debates being covered off by my fine friends at Netevents – and below are links to a couple of recent ones – regardless of the subject matter; for example, the links are to debates around the future of Data Centres and an analysis of 2021 IT investment priorities, the subject of human error readily comes up during pretty well any debate.

The latter of those two sessions, run by old analyst mate Jerry Caron in the US, ironically covered off AI – what doesn’t? – as part of a debate centred around the advances of cloud and hybrid deployments, the future of existing (if already reinvented) tech such as 5G and SD-WAN and, of course, cyber security and where, among all this uncertainty and the boat-rocker that was the pandemic, enterprise applications of the future are heading – and where they will exist (see DC debate on that one).

Back to the irony – we have been trying, as a race, to build intelligence into inanimate objects for decades; in many cases (from network management to Satnav, via fridges and kettles) these are designed to overcome the, er, shortcomings of the human operator – i.e., us. Many’s the time that it has been suggested that if computers could only generate their own AI, it would be more accurate and reliable than the human-injected alternative. Maybe that’s why after decades of trying it’s still the “latest kid on the block” debate-wise. More to the point, vendors still use the human error scenario (as do analysts, trust me) as a primary motive for their product and strategy directions. For example, I am about to have an initial briefing with a US vendor, Forward Networks, whose website home page notes (in a substantial font size): “90% of network outages are due to human error”. So, let’s see what they are doing about it – watch this space on that one!

Meantime, if you want to catch up on the aforementioned Netevents debates, you can find them here:

Data Centre Technologies & Trends:

CxO round-table Global Enterprise Customer Insights:

Data Center
Data Management