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Thought Leaders in Mobile and Social: Yaacov Cohen, Co-Founder and CEO of Harmon.ie (Part 5)

Posted on Wednesday, Mar 5th 2014

Yaacov Cohen: The enterprise is a lot more heterogeneous. It used to be controlled by three to five vendors. It’s a lot more diverse, because I can have a cloud service for pretty much anything in the enterprise. I think the mega trend here is enterprise mobility and it includes cloud services, BYOD, devices, and security. I think that’s the landscape.

On top of that is how to use analytics and data in order to deliver contextual experiences. For example, you are in a cab in New York and you are going to your next meeting. The type of information that you want to see at that moment before you get dizzy is not the same information if you are at home on your laptop. If you are preparing for a meeting in your home office, you can get a lot more information. I think the next generation software will be able to deliver the right information at the right time.

Today, we are living in a world where information is very overwhelming. To a degree, technology is taking control of our lives. I believe in a future where we humanize technology rather than being technologized. I feel like Google and Facebook are trying to take control of our humanity and are trying to technologize humanity. I believe that’s the wrong way to go. I believe Silicon Valley has got it wrong. Actually, I feel that being in Israel – in a very rich, diverse, and spiritual place – has allowed me to look at that phenomenon with a lot more criticism. As opposed to being in the midst of the euphoria over technology in Silicon Valley, this has led to a diminished humanity – to a humanity that is technologized. I don’t want to become a Google robot.

Sramana Mitra: I agree with you on that.

Yaacov Cohen: But I think that’s where we are going. You’re going to get ads and it’s getting closer and closer. It used to be only at the office. Now, it’s in our bedrooms. Next thing you know, it’s going to be in our glasses. The next time when a baby’s born, he’s going to get a Google chip in the brain. I think we need to look at technology as human beings and take a look at what type of humanity we want. This discussion is not happening because of the Silicon Valley euphoria.

Sramana Mitra: I have written quite a lot on this. Since you’re interested in this topic, you may want to look at some of those writings. I’ve written a bit about what I call human-centric computing. The tendency of Silicon Valley or the technology industry in general is to be technology-led. It’s engineers designing products and they don’t really have that liberal arts perspective or the human usage perspective. I think we need to keep, in designing products and solution, the human usage and problems at the center. We should be focusing on solving human problems as opposed to force-feeding technology.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Thought Leaders in Mobile and Social: Yaacov Cohen, Co-Founder and CEO of Harmon.ie
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