Turbonomic & the Age of Autonomic Intelligence
Thanksgiving travel is seldom fun. It seems every year I come closer to the edge of missing the flight that will disappoint someone I care about. As I rushed to catch my flight the other week, however, my smartphone began tilting the field back in my favor – by making decisions for me. Rather than speeding blindly into a traffic jam, my phone guided me off the Mass Pike, over streets I hadn’t seen in ages, delivering me to my flight on time as if traffic didn’t exist. Its actions not only helped me catch my flight, but also helped clear the way for emergency crews to assist those impacted. When the radio eventually reported the accident, I realized this combination of events was yet another example of how autonomic intelligence is revolutionizing our lives.
Of all the technology trends I’ve observed over time at Bain Capital Ventures, Ai holds the greatest promise.
While the term autonomic originates in biology – referring to unconscious systems controlling basic functions like your heart rate – it takes on new meaning when applied to technology. Indeed, autonomic intelligence has enabled software capabilities to evolve from basic data collection, reporting and alerting to actually making decisions, enhancing human cognitive function. It enables humans to manage increasingly complex scenarios at new levels of scale – consider how a market operates autonomically based on supply and demand – in ways we can’t even imagine. It will change the way we work, but also promises to elevate those willing to adapt. Of all the technology trends I’ve observed over time at Bain Capital Ventures, autonomic intelligence holds the greatest promise.
Autonomic Intelligence as Cognitive Augmentation
Interestingly, the drive for such cognitive augmentation predates software. In 1912, Sperry invented the first autopilot. Its design outcome solved problems similar to those addressed by autonomic intelligence. By relieving pilots from making minute adjustments to a plane’s elevators and rudders – a repetitive, highly-fatiguing task – autopilot enabled them to focus on higher-order considerations, like “are we flying in the right direction?” Today, software-based autopilot controls much of the in-flight experience, radically improving air safety.
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via the fine folks at VMTurbo!