I am very excited to see what this class has in store for us. I work at a software company, PTC, that is truly epitomizing digital transformation. We live it so much that our company motto is now “Power To Create” and our logo, shown below is a “P” and a “D” aligned in a similar fashion to a yin-yang symbol, illustrating a convergence of the physical and digital world. While our company’s focus is on Internet of Things (“IoT”), augmented reality (“AR”), and Software as a Service (“SaaS”), there is so much more out there to learn about. I am currently in the Business Applications for Blockchain class as well this semester and am excited that the two will overlap. I have read some books about blockchain and think the idea of a distributed ledger for privacy, security, and contracts is very useful. A lot of these technologies connect us to other people with intermediaries collecting our data in the process, and I believe soon “the masses” will push back and start to want to share only what they absolutely must. This thought of owning your data is already ubiquitous in Europe with GDPR, and I think it is only a matter of time before it spreads here to the United States.
I am also intrigued to discuss a lot of the downsides of these technologies as well. We see it everyday on things like social media, where it can have so many positives of bringing people together and empowering everyone to have a voice. However, social media has also led to a lot of depression and anxiety as people compare their lives to their peers, not realizing that most users of social media only post themselves “living their best life”. This does not even take into account trolls, bots, and plenty of divisive rhetoric. Even posting something as simple as “the sky is blue” on Twitter, you will find someone who will not only disagree with you but insult you in the process. These social media platforms have had protections from Section 230 for a long time because they are content platforms and not content providers, which has received a lot of political scrutiny the past few months for being either too lenient or too strong depending on which side of the debate you are on. While it was passed in 1996, well before social media as we know it today began, I wonder if we will see enough momentum to update the legislation and how that action, or inaction, would impact some of these platforms. Will people go somewhere else?
That said I think, for better or worse, a lot of what we will be introduced to us in this class is either already a big part of our day to day jobs and lives, or it is something we will need to get ourselves familiar with because the world is becoming more digital everyday. Artificial intelligence can already help us parallel park our cars, and soon we will see autonomous vehicles. We already see drones with the ability to deliver packages, maybe our mail will never be delayed again? We can look at a piece of furniture on a website and overlay it into our own living rooms to see how it fits, or even walk through apartments without ever leaving the one we are currently in. Covid-19 proved that many roles, especially white collar roles, can be done anywhere so the future of work is allowing us to take work meetings on our phones (and at some point with virtual reality we can sit in the meeting room if others are in the office), we can work on documents simultaneously from around the world or set up trainings using AR so you can follow instructions that are digitally overlaid on a physical piece of equipment. For my last class to complete my MBA at BC, I could not think of a better “capstone” than a class that will not only prepare me for the workplace as it is today, but the workplace of several years from now that I can not only work in but lead.