There are so many benefits provided by the advanced technology of today, but as I attend a conference in San Francisco this week I am reminded of a very real problem. Listening to session after session talk about the incredible advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the power of a cloud, serverless architecture all becomes completely irrelevant and nothing more than an over-simplified, idealistic utopian future when we can’t apply these technologies to problems which exist today.

User Case Studies

And before you think “well what about the user case studies?” Let me say, I recognize there are valuable real-life uses where this technology has been implemented and done so successfully. But I have a suspicion regarding these implementations and use cases. I would propose these use cases have been the focus of months and months of intense efforts by dozens of individuals focused on these very specific implementations. In fact, what this does do, in my opinion, is demonstrate there are very intelligent individuals who can, when devoting their entire working time to architecting a single solution with specific technology, create incredible bespoke solutions.

But this is not applied technology. This is not an easily distributed, readily deployable improvement in technology for everyone. These are carefully curated examples. Curious why I would suggest this is the truth of these advanced technologies? Humor me by reading on about how I came to this conclusion.

Plan & Prepare

I mentioned at the beginning that I am attending a large conference in San Francisco. The focus is heavily bent on these incredible technologies and their implementations in the world today. I am joined by over 25,000 other interested attendees and more than 4,000 conference staff all focused on coming together to learn more and share their stories. This massive crowd registered for this event months and months in advance in some cases. Even in the case of the late-comers, the conference organizers were aware of exactly who is attending and the total attendee count at all times.

These conference organizers were also acutely aware of the size of the various venues and keynote rooms available for this event. The simplest of mathematics which my brilliant 6 year old son could discern through basic subtraction is simple: the attendees will not all fit. Pardon my sarcasm, but let me explain with a bit more detail.

If we have the availability of this advanced technology which can properly manage our servers and our cloud infrastructure to perform complex load balancing across available containers in order to reduce friction in the user experience and provide a seamless, high-speed experience for each individual, why can we not do the same in the real world? This same technology could be easily applied to real-life, physical world settings and route individuals to the proper location in a load-balanced solution.

Applying Online Strategies

I recognize not every attendee would have downloaded the conference app, but these would be the anonymous users (in a cloud environment) and they would be handled through a standard protocol much as an anonymous website visitor. But for the known contacts, or in the real-world, those who have identified by downloading the conference app, a customized user experience should be not just possible but implemented with a focused effort.

For example, a notification pushed to my device through the app that there are no more available seats at Venue Location X, and I should proceed to Venue Location Y for a particular keynote session would be the correct user experience..

The ironic thing is this level of preparation doesn’t just help the user and make their experience better. This also significantly helps the conference organizers, and those poor staff members tasked with the unenviable job of directing traffic.

Still In Progress

Until we see the benefits of our advancements in technology put to use in standard, everyday applications such as this I don’t believe we have truly recognized and implemented technology into our lives effectively. This is applied technology and apparently we still have a long way to go.