We are constantly bombarded with information from an ever-increasing variety of sources. Just think of the number of social media applications released over the last year or two and how some have faded and others have dominated. Decades ago communication was mostly via land line telephones, radio, and broadcast TV. Numbers were written down in address books and dates were made on physical paper calendars and other notes. Newspapers came once a day, and summaries of events happened on TV news casts in 30 minutes and recognizing the handwriting of someone who had sent a letter was common.
Now we don’t have our friends phone numbers memorized let alone what each other’s handwriting looks like – perhaps we all resemble that of a doctor’s scribble since we don’t practice that much either. We have folders on our phones dedicated to various social media, from more professional LinkedIn to scrolling through a family-based feed on Facebook to trying out Threads or resigning to open Twitter/X for a fourth time this year. Our home computers are likely to be mobile via laptops to allow us to enjoy the outdoors during a workday or as a base to support an array of screens and feeds about the world we inhabit.
The future will not let up. With AI being incorporated with the internet-of-things, expect a growing presence of technology to automate and customize everything electronic, everywhere we go. This flood of new information may seem like a tsunami ready to overload everyone all the time, however it is that very technology that is building higher levies and keeping us from being drowned from such extremes. This is the case where we’ve a tipping point, where many who have said more is not better, but actually… it is.
Five years ago, information communicated via mass media had a degradation of truth, tailored to the individual to be led to be reinforced with only what they want. This is not a new phenomenon and has been likened to previous historic events, such as how those with printing presses in the seventeenth century could lead people astray, only for common truths and logic to emerge victorious over time. And now we are poised to have that technology and what it has learned about us leveraged to help us with sifting out the information that has no value to us while highlighting the items that need our attention, whether sooner or later. Spam, pop-up ads, robo-calls, and more are being phased out as they lose to the arms race that AI has been able to leverage on our behalf.
With communication sources in a number of places we look as we live and travel, from bars to hotel lobbies to restaurants, we are about to have even more screens appear on the streets to stores to offices as we return to working environments, seeking your attention. However, some studies show we are starting to tune them out, recognizing that we do not need to pay the least bit of attention, and even completely ignoring even more when such devices try their hardest with flashing lights and fast movements. With new learning algorithms able to help us, we can expect that that seemingly random public advert will instead be able to inform and entertain instead of selling 24/7.
For data centers we can expect full digital communications to be employed on critical equipment into the future, generating a considerable amount of data to help improve how the systems and facility is monitored and managed. With such screens being added to major equipment, each can suddenly be a portal to not only how that specific machine works, but also how they are working as a team, as well as tapping into other systems that are available through the centralized building automation system. Adding the trending and constant system analysis, the facility can begin to generate possible improvements and bring this to the operators attention while sifting out the unnecessary ‘spam’ of typical reports or unnecessary data.
As site specific documentation is evolving to be online, this can help us understand when notifications go out how much is nuisance alarms versus what is actually a much larger issue that needs someone from the real world to diagnose more completely and resolve even as a digital twin or similar building information models follow along with the changes. Add in 3D goggles and others can also follow along, bringing their expertise from afar to help those that are actually in the facility to help with complex problems.