Dr. Shawn DuBravac, Chief Economist of Consumer Technology Association, on The Exciting Future of Recommendation Engines
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On this episode of Unconventional Genius, I talk with Dr. Shawn DuBravac, Chief Economist of the Consumer Technology Association about data collection and the exciting future of recommendation engines. Shawn is the author of the New York Times Best Seller Digital Destiny: How the New Age of Data Will Transform the Way We Work, Live, and Communicate (Regnery, 2015). He joins me to talk about how we can leverage mass data collection and technological advancements to enhance and improve the world in which we live.
Dr. Shawn DuBravac is an author and futurist who studies and writes about the disruptive trends in technology. He also advises companies and business owners on the opportunities technology can offer. During our conversation, he shares some insights into the way the technologies being developed and implemented today are shaping the future.
The new and better ways to collect data
Collecting and analyzing data is something humans been doing for a long time. Much of the information we talk about today is information that already existed, we just weren’t capturing it. Because of digitization, we now have sophisticated ways to capture massive amounts of data. That data can also be collected in real time, giving us extremely refined, granular data.
Because sensors are becoming much cheaper and being put in so many different consumer products, data capture is becoming much easier. What we once knew intuitively we can now know quantitatively using sensors. Fitness watches, athletic shoes and many other pieces of wearable and connected technology have propelled data collection into a rapidly growing, highly competitive industry.
Turning data into recommendation engines
What is to be done with all the data that is now so easy to collect? There is a lot of exploration and experimentation being done to determine what information is most important. As that is determined, data collection will become more targeted, making it easier to analyze and use in a way that is helpful to consumers.
One major use of such large amounts of data is to help inform and give recommendations. Dr. Shawn DuBravac calls these recommendation engines. The sensors can analyze a given situation, including variables, and cross-reference them with knowledge about you in order to inform and influence decisions. Hear him share some exciting possibilities about these recommendation engines during this podcast.
How technology is shaping the future
There is tremendous growth and change ahead of us both technologically and socially. The way that we communicate and interact has changed dramatically with the advent of the smartphone and the internet of things. Dr. Shawn DuBravac says, “I think the digitization of information is going to have a pronounced impact on the way we think about ourselves, the way we relate to others, and the way we communicate.”
Technology will continue to change the way in which we live and do things. The younger generation is now growing up having only known a world of connection and digitization. Shawn says, “There will not be these separate identities of what’s happening in the digital world and what’s happening in the physical world. We used to be able to walk away from our computer and live our physical, analog life and I think those days are done or at least extremely short-lived.”
Predictions for the future
Could there be a world where robots take over the job force, putting humans out of work? Will there be self-driving cars anytime soon? How quickly will we see cutting edge technology implemented into everyday life? Dr. Shawn DuBravac talks about all of these things during our conversation. Throughout all of it, he remains optimistic about the possibilities and opportunities that digitization is bringing to the world.
He offers his insight about when autonomous vehicles might see a tipping point in the market. He also talks about how virtual and augmented reality might influence business efficiency and productivity. He even offers a time when he believes it might become illegal to drive your own car. Hear all about that and much more on this episode of Unconventional Genius.
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Topics Featured In This Episode
- [0:51] Introduction of guest Shawn DuBravac, Chief Economist of Consumer Technology Association
- [2:57] The history of data collection and why it is so important today
- [6:55] How the use of sensors is impacting the ability to capture data
- [11:31] Determining what data matters and how to effectively use it in daily decision-making
- [17:48] How things have changed since the turn of the century, specifically post 9/11
- [23:30] With all the innovation, are there any unexpected adverse effects of the technology now being developed
- [29:28] Can legislation keep up with the advances in technology?
- [32:38] Surprising ways that technology has evolved in the short time since Shawn DuBravac published his last book.
- [38:05] Where is the greatest business opportunities for entrepreneurs
- [42:38] Dr. Shawn DuBravac offers some predictions for the future of technology
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