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The Future of Collaboration

With the development of AI platforms like IBM’s Watson and Apple’s SIRI, it’s obviously not a long shot to assume that these future collaboration platforms will be able to take action on our behalf.

Recently, I’ve spent some time thinking about what the various collaboration platforms could look like over the next few years. It’s always difficult to do this as you have to consciously block out each vendor’s own vision of where they would like to go and what it will look like. While surfing the web thinking about this, I came across a post by Jacob Morgan. Here he discusses his opinion regarding the future of collaborative platforms. In his post he mentions this idea of a smart collaboration platform. While maybe a little obvious looking backwards, the idea of a smart platform, where it could take action on behalf of the user is clearly a pretty entertaining idea.

The collaboration tools of today primarily exist to help people be as productive in the office as they are when absent. Over time, these tools have become very good at this, but to me they still exist as hollow shells. Employees still need to input information and take action for anything to be accomplished. While this is great forward progress, I think Morgan puts it best as when describing it as “driving Flintstone cars” instead of the modern ones of today.

So if we’re living in the Stone Age, what could a “smart platform” look like?

With the development of AI platforms like IBM’s Watson, it’s obviously not a long shot to assume that these future collaboration platforms will be able to take action on our behalf.  We’re already quickly moving in this direction. With the release of SIRI, we are now able to interact with devices by voice and have them act on our instructions take action on our behalf. So, in the future I would hope it’s not too far-fetched to think that we may be able to automate simple AI functions of collaboration like upload a document and have these “smart platforms” invite all the necessary individuals to view it. Or alternatively these platforms could understand the project you’re working on and auto-invite or suggest others you may want to add to the project.

With all the recent technical innovations, I find it’s fun to think what possibilities the future may hold. Who would have thought that the tablet computer of Captain Kirk, some fifty years ago, would actually become commonplace today.  Too bad my iPhone has yet to replicate a real life SIRI but it’s not a bad release 1.0.

Your Turn

What do you think the future of collaboration has in store for us?