Variety Is the Spice of Life for AI, Particularly in Humanizing HR

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Digital assistants like Microsoft Cortana are a lot like people in that they are the most interesting when they specialize, and when they become experts in a given field.
  • This is the case with human resources (HR), where there are many AI-driven chatbots available, each able to answer specific problems (like employee feedback) or support specific constituencies (like millennial employees).

If there’s one lesson to be learned from this week’s announcement that Microsoft Cortana will be able to converse freely with Amazon Alexa, it’s that AI-driven personal assistants – like people – do well to specialize. Cortana is quite adept at setting appointments and Alexa is pretty good at turning lights off and on. But don’t ask Cortana to turn down the heat or Alexa to set up an Outlook meeting. Like people, AI platforms grow up under very different circumstances, each with its own unique philosophy, friends, and culture (in the world of IT, ‘philosophy’ means AI algorithms, ‘friends’ equals data sources, and ‘culture’ means domain of expertise). Read more of this post

Cloud Leaders Must Acknowledge Importance of Agility via OSS Initiatives

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

• Leading into JavaOne, keep an eye on prominent microservices community project MicroProfile including vendor participants.

• Another important cloud initiative receives strong support this month via Microsoft and AWS.

As we head into the crush of fall conferences among application platform and cloud vendors, I’m watching for themes that will further the modernization of application development. Since I have concerns about the ongoing complexities around emerging microservices architectures, community projects focused on improving the development process via open source software initiatives will be especially important in coming months.

This week a prominent community project focused on microservices, MicroProfile, announced key feature enhancements aimed at accelerating the adoption of microservices within the Java EE community. While there are multiple efforts around standardizing Java EE technology, not the least of which is JCP, MicroProfile’s latest enhancement will include a common configuration API that can be applied to multiple deployments, basically externalizing a configuration from an app to support a rapidly changing DevOps environment including continuous delivery. Going forward, other areas the group is considering includes integration with Health Check, Health Metrics, and Fault Tolerance. Read more of this post

Microsoft Slams AWS via Container Offering and Kubernetes Backing

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Microsoft Azure’s recent noteworthy announcements include joining CNCF and previewing an easy-to-deploy container service.
  • Microsoft’s moves not only highlight efforts to make Azure more usable for customers and developers, but also seek to position AWS as an inflexible walled garden.

Microsoft had a banner week in the hotly contested cloud wars. Amid claims as the top revenue earner against AWS, Salesforce and others (with an annual ‘intelligent cloud’ revenue run rate of $18.9 billion), Microsoft rolled out an aggressive strategy to provide the easiest on-ramp into the cloud via a new container service. Read more of this post