When Amanda, one of the organizers of Nerd Nite Tokyo invited me to speak at one of their events on February 7th, I had no idea what I would talk about. I couldn’t talk about my current research because of intellectual property issues and all that. I didn’t want to talk about my PhD research, I don’t think it was very fascinating. So I decided to pick a topic that I am passionate about: cloud computing. Most people think of cloud computing as storage (infrastructure as a service) but cloud computing has evolved so much in the last decade. It is not just a matter of provisioning hardware and networking infrastructure or fast disk storage speeds (something Hitachi excels at) but also Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS), areas that have grown exponentially and are still growing.
But First, What is Nerd Nite? Is it like a TED Talk?
Yes, it is like a TED talk in that it combines technology, art, science and entertainment kind of talks.
But it is not like TED in many ways. The speakers don’t have to follow a rigid script. The atmosphere is more relaxed, the audience can have a drink while listening to the speakers. They can interrupt and ask questions. It can be more interactive. It was my first time there and I really liked it. Would love to go again and listen to a wide range of speakers on many interesting topics.
I was one of the three speakers on 7th February. The first speaker, Stefano Di Carlo, who works with Medicines Sans Frontiers, talked about “Life After Rescue: the Next Steps in the Life of a Migrant”. I was the second speaker on — Cloud Computing and why You Can’t Live Without It. Finally, Judith Pascoe — On the Bullet Train with Emily Bronte: Wuthering Heights in Japan.
Why I Find Cloud Computing Fascinating and why you can’t Live Without It
Well, I will tell you a bit but can’t go into too much detail, you missed my TED talk! Oops meant my Nerd Nite talk.
A lot of people are now using Services Computing instead of cloud computing. According to wiki: services computing has become a cross-discipline that covers the science and technology of bridging the gap between business services and IT services. How can we add value and make it easier for businesses to use cloud services to fulfill their business needs? My research is focused on this.
I am fascinated by the wide range of services available on the cloud platforms, including AI and IoT. The Google Speech-To-Text API that I blogged about before is an example of one such service. Amazon Web Services (AWS) leads the market game with the largest market share, followed by Microsoft’s Azure with Google Cloud Computing coming third. Of course, Alibaba controls the market in China.
Can you live without Cloud Computing? Of course not. Our smartphones rely on it to obtain and share information all over the world. Do you use Netflix, Spotify or Hulu? It is hosted by AWS. Uber? AWS. Dropbox? AWS. You are techsavvy, privacy conscious and know about DuckDuckGo? It is also hosted by AWS. Chances are that any streaming or worldwide website that you visit is hosted on one of the tech giants cloud platforms. Cloud computing makes our lives so convenient by saving all our data on the cloud, and we can access it wherever in the world we are. Whether I am in Japan or in Kenya, I can access my documents and data on the internet. The only cost that I have to give up is privacy. The tech companies know everything about me. They know me more than I know myself. But it is hard to do without them. Try cutting them out of your life and see how that will go.
Here are the slides that I used at the talk. They don’t have much text, fortunately or unfortunately. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.