RRH Sits Down with Paul Papas, Global Leader of Digital Strategy & iX, IBM

Chris Hayes was lucky enough to sit down with Paul Papas, the Global Leader of IBM’s Digital Strategy & Interactive Experience (iX) practice, to ask him some tough questions about where digital technology is headed and what part IBM has to play in it. This is the second installment in Roth Ryan Hayes’s recently-launched, regular interview series, where we tap into to some of the greatest minds in digital to find out what’s in store for the future. Read the full interview posted May 30th, 2017 here.

Hayes: Nearly 20 years ago, John Doerr talked about the notion of moving from the internet to the “Evernet,” which would be “always-on” like electricity. While I’m impressed with breakthroughs we’ve made in technology, I’ve not been impressed with the pace, strength, reliability, and accessibility of mobile and WiFi connections. Do you believe that the promise of the Evernet will be realized in the near future?

Papas: June 29, 2007 was the date the first generation iPhone was launched. Today, just 10 years later, there are over 2.5B smartphone users and 3B internet users. The technology is finally enabling everyone to do what they have always wanted to do, namely, to always be connected to the people and things they love.

And what we are seeing is not limited to phones and computers, but in homes and vehicles. Voice assistants are growing at a rapid rate, creating a way for individuals to do what they previously had to be in front of a screen to accomplish.  

And cars are no longer just a way to get from point A to point B; they are computers on wheels. We announced a partnership with GM where we’re creating the world’s first cognitive mobility platform. This will provide a personalized in-vehicle experience that will connect people to everything they love and help make daily tasks more convenient. For example, drivers can quickly locate gas stations, recommend the best fuel and lubricant product for their vehicle, and authorize payment all without leaving the vehicle. Consumers can even pay for a car wash or, when away from their car, get notified when they’re low on fuel.

So, even though we don’t yet have “always-on” everywhere, there are more and more objects being connected to the Internet daily. Even in NYC, many subway stations now have wifi. We’re not at the point of electricity yet, but we’ll get there.

Hayes: On a similar note, AI like Watson is becoming increasingly pervasive in our lives. Although still at a very early stage in its potential, where do you see AI’s placement in society in 5 years time? 10 years? 

Papas: The speed of AI advancement is simply amazing. As an example: 1B consumers will use Watson by 2018. Already today, Watson is being used by a broad ecosystem including businesses, developers and universities to fight cancer, improve classroom learning, enhance oil and gas exploration, better manage financial investments and much more. 

Even with this incredible rate of advancement, in many ways, AI and cognitive computing are still in their infancy. Collaborating with leading minds around the world is the key to fulfilling the true potential. 

While I’ve learned not to try to predict anything 5 years out, it’s easy to imagine a world where every business process and customer experience is transformed and delivered with the power of Cognitive systems.

Several more questions and answers can be found at the original article here.