Getting ready for VMworld with AI deep dive with 14-year employee

Business of the future will need to be more predictive.

That’s what VMware’s Justin Murray, a long-time VMware employee told me here as he explained the latest in AI and Machine Learning that he’s seeing evolve.

The folks who run VMware’s huge conference, VMworld (happens September 29-October 1), got interested in me after reading my latest book, “The Infinite Retina,” which is how augmented reality and artificial intelligence, along with a few other technologies that I call Spatial Computing, will radically change seven industries over the next decade.

You see this predictive nature of AI in things like robots, autonomous cars, and, even, other things like Spotify, which uses AI to build playlists. That predicts what kind of music we would like to listen to. Autonomous cars predict the next action of both people and other cars on the streets. The AI inside is always trying to answer questions like: “will a child walking on the side of the road try to cross the street in front of us?” Properly predicting what is about to happen on the road is important and, I ask Murray, if that same predictive technology is what he’s thinking will be used elsewhere in businesses?

Murray says “yes,” but then goes a lot further, and predicts what some of the hot discussions will be at VMworld next week.

For instance:

1. Every major cloud provider, like Amazon’s Web Services, Microsoft’s Azure, or Google’s Cloud Services, is buying tons of NVidia’s powerful GPUs for their datacenters to support these new, predictive, AI services that businesses are starting to build.

2. The AI architecture and tooling stack that runs on these is seeing sizeable changes, and NVidia and VMware will make some announcements there next week.

3. Powerful new AI supercomputers are now being built because NVidia cards are being “connected together” in a powerful new way to make new workloads possible.

Why do I care, especially since usually I’m interested in new startups or consumer electronics gadgets?

Well, let’s walk through my life. Recently I got a June Oven. You put a piece of toast in it, or a piece of salmon, and it uses a small camera and an NVidia card inside, along with machine learning-based software, to automatically recognize what food I am trying to cook or bake. It’s magic. Plus, I never burn my toast anymore the way we used to because I often didn’t get the settings right.

Or, look at the new DJI Osmo 4 I used to do the intro to this video. On there is three little motors, and the instructions for how to move those motors is generated, in part, by machine learning that is constantly evaluating how best to steady my iPhone.

Finally, look at my Tesla. Murray told me that there’s more than a dozen AI-based systems running on that, and it drove most of the way to VMware’s headquarters in Palo Alto, CA, which makes my drives more relaxing (particularly in traffic where my car does all the stop-and-go duties) and safer.

Already AI has radically changed my life and most people in the industry say AI is just getting going. One reason VMware is compensating me to do this series of posts is because about a decade ago I was the first to see Siri, which was the first AI-based consumer application to come to market. My posts back then kicked off the AI age but a decade later AI has started deeply falling in price and is getting simpler to do, so it’s being used in a lot more new workloads.

You might not realize just who VMware is, but you probably use one of its services everyday, or, rather, the companies you deal with everyday use VMware to run their businesses. When I worked at Rackspace, a major cloud computing provider, for instance, we used VMware all over the place in our datacenters. “VM” stands for “Virtual Machine,” and VMware is the one that popularized that term for technology that can split up a physical computer into tons of “virtual” computers (or join them together with millions of other machines to build a supercomputer). Today that technology is used to do a bunch of things, from letting you manage your laptop better and run it more safely, to managing huge businesses, to soon managing new Spatial Computing infrastructure and devices (I wrote about such in my latest book).

All of this will be discussed at VMworld, which is a huge free virtual event, with more than 100,000 attendees and hundreds of sessions, covers not just what is happening here in AI, but across a range of technologies that businesses use everyday, from security-focused ones, to data-center-management focused ones. If you like this conversation, which is just one out of thousands of VMware employees or customers you will meet at VMworld, register for your free attendee badge here.

I don’t even need an AI to predict that you’ll find at least a few of the sessions out of the 900 offered useful for your business, see you on the 29th!