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Navigating the Noise of the New Era

June 8, 2023
How do we navigate the unknown? The Never Neverland of what has not been done before with new tools we have never used?

There has been an explosion of thoughts about what the new era means for us all. Our social media feeds are starting to read like supermarket tabloids with bizarre headlines and graphics leading to thin facts.

What is all the noise? We are entering the "Anything is Possible Era" (which I have named the “Enviromation Era”).

How do we navigate the unknown? The Never Neverland of what has not been done before with new tools we have never used?

My advice as an old sailor is to "steer the course in a confused sea."

From Bing's AI-powered copilot for the web,

“Steer the course in a confused sea” is an idiom that means to navigate through difficult or uncertain situations. It is often used to describe how one should proceed when faced with a problem that has no clear solution. The phrase is derived from nautical terminology where “steer” means to guide a ship’s course and “confused sea” refers to rough waters where waves are coming from different directions.

I asked Bing AI-powered copilot for the web what is "Enviromation?" I found, surprisingly, I was part of the noise:

I found that “Enviromation” is a new word that combines environment and automation. It describes the creative collision of today’s environmental needs with the need to automate our informational and physical interactions.

This is practically a word-for-word quote from one of our recent articles, Ken Sinclair of Automatedbuildings.com provided a recorded keynote message for Controls-Con 2023:

His message focuses on a term he has coined as “Enviromation,” the combination of environment and automation. It describes the creative collision of today’s environmental needs with the need to automate our informational and physical interactions.

In my keynote, I discussed my legacy of SES consulting and the need to attract younger folks to our industry. Here’s an article from Brad White, President of SES Consulting, that talks about all the great things the building automation industry can offer to young job seekers: Want Your Work to Have Real Impact? Smart Buildings is the Place for You.

Last month's article, Decarbonization and Electrification Era, spoke to the new era created by young, passionate people committed to changing the world’s political and physical climate.

More on the topic can be found in this LinkedIn post: Discover scalable decarbonization opportunities in commecial buildings!

The young people we bring to the industry will be better at sailing these confused seas, having known them from the outset of their careers.

Let’s talk about some of the reasons for the current turbulence. Right now, generative language AIs such as Chat GPT are making the most noise.

As we apply AI and the parallel era movements to our Automated Buildings industry, it is essential to involve the folks with many years of experience managing and creating our building systems and preparing them for successful AI interaction.

I am incredibly proud of our Sponsors and Contributing Editors and their wealth of knowledge they bring to applying AI. This article, The Journey to the Cloud So Far, from Contributing Editor Anto Budiardjo shows how advances in building automation have been setting the stage in preparation for the dramatic entrance of AI. Key quote:

There is much talk today in the BAS industry about “The Cloud.” In this article, I will lay out where technology is heading as far as using the Cloud for controlling and automating building systems, including HVAC, lighting, physical security, and other services now critical to smarter buildings…

…A key attribute of Cloud-Native is that it is dynamic, modular, and loosely coupled. When additional Processing is required, the system can be configured to spawn new Processing nodes and have them stand down after they are needed.

Clouds are how AI will connect. This LinkedIn post from Jacob Fenley, Area Market Leader for Cochrane Supply offers this call to action:

Innovation in our industry happens gradually… then suddenly.

I was lucky enough to make the big stage this year at #ControlsCon, following some of the greatest minds in our field - I used my time to urge our industry leaders to embrace these new AI technologies and to lead the way - instead of following behind. Hesitation is defeat.

For a fantastic recap of the recent ControlsCon event, visit: www.automatedbuildings.com/2023/06/07/controls-con-2023-recap

What is learned at one event is rapidly transferred to the next:

Sponsor list for Realcomm - IBcon 2023

The confused sea "uncertain situations" always presents a danger. The fear of the unknown always needs to be managed and risk understood. AI is a powerful force that has the potential to cause great destruction.

But then, so did the explosion of the first steam boiler, the meltdown of the first nuclear plant, and the explosion of the first rockets. Maybe our situation is more like the non-event of Y2K, where informed decisions and plenty of hard work combined to head off potential destruction.

Below are some links addressing the risks of an AI future.

From the Center for AI Safety:

https://www.safe.ai/statement-on-ai-risk

An article by Vanessa Romo originally appearing on NPR.org:

https://www.npr.org/2023/05/30/1178943163/ai-risk-extinction-chatgpt

My advice is to "steer the course in a confused sea."

I asked Microsoft's Bing to compose a summary to this article. This is what it came up with:

Navigating the Noise of the New Era

The world is changing faster than ever before. Technology, globalization, social media, and environmental challenges are creating new opportunities and threats for individuals and organizations. How can we cope with the noise of the new era and make sense of the complex and dynamic reality we face? How can we adapt and thrive in a world that demands constant learning and innovation?

One possible answer is to develop a mindset of curiosity and exploration. Curiosity is the desire to learn new things, to seek out new experiences, and to ask questions. Exploration is the act of trying new things, testing new ideas, and experimenting with different possibilities. Together, curiosity and exploration can help us navigate the noise of the new era by:

- Expanding our horizons and exposing us to diverse perspectives and sources of information.

- Enhancing our creativity and problem-solving skills by stimulating our imagination and challenging our assumptions.

- Enabling us to discover new opportunities and solutions that may not be obvious or conventional.

- Encouraging us to learn from our failures and feedback and to improve our performance and outcomes.

Curiosity and exploration are not innate traits that we are born with or without. They are skills that we can cultivate and practice. Here are some tips on how to do so:

- Be open-minded and willing to learn from anyone and anything. Don't judge or dismiss something before you try it or understand it.

- Ask questions and seek answers. Don't settle for what you already know or assume. Dig deeper and look for evidence and explanations.

- Try new things and experiment with different approaches. Don't be afraid to fail or make mistakes. Learn from them and try again.

- Share your ideas and experiences with others. Don't keep them to yourself or hide them from criticism. Seek feedback and collaborate with others who can help you improve.

Navigating the noise of the new era is not easy, but it is not impossible either. By cultivating a mindset of curiosity and exploration, we can embrace the challenges and opportunities of the changing world and create value for ourselves and others.

About the Author

Ken Sinclair | Editor/Owner/Founder

Ken Sinclair has been called an oracle of the digital age. He sees himself more as a storyteller and hopes the stories he tells will be a catalyst for the IoT future we are all (eventually) going to live. The more than 50 chapters in that ongoing story of digital transformation below are peppered with HTML links to articles containing an amazing and diverse amount of information.

Ken believes that systems will be smarter, self-learning, edgy, innovative, and sophisticated, and to create, manage and re-invent those systems the industry needs to grow our most important resource, our  younger people, by reaching out to them with messages about how vibrant, vital and rewarding working in this industry can be.

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