Nobody really knows why it happened. It was a million to one shot.

As I hit the finish line for the Escape from the Rock Alcatraz swim, my family and friends were there to greet me among the crowd of hundreds. My objective was simply completing the race, but I was very happy with the 54-minute finish time.

The next day my shoulders were very tight, and, as was my habit, I went to the chiropractor I’d been seeing for ten years. He had helped me over the years to recover quickly from old sports injuries, and I trusted him.

“If all we’re doing is treating COVID like a Sand Hill pitch, then we will fail” — a noted Silicon Valley pitch artist.

While the country is opening up again, there is no doubt that if we don’t commit to massive contact tracing and COVID-19 antibody testing, the coronavirus will raise its head again now or in the next flu season with more deaths. We have tested, on a per capita basis, fewer citizens than 11 other countries, including Great Britain. And contact tracing is minimal in all the states that want to open immediately. Yet, according to all the experts in this thing called science and pandemics, it is necessary to stamp out more deaths now and when this pandemic revives itself in November.

What if Silicon Valley used its unique skills and resources to quickly organize a youth-based national program to help heal this and the future pandemics certain to come our way?

Fred Lopez, a Santa Clara, California resident and tech executive, says that this school semester has been “an unmitigated disaster” for his kids even though two are in private colleges, and one is at a high-end private middle school. “They view online learning as boring, in addition to missing all the social interactions that made school fun. It’s easy to slip away to do anything more interesting than virtual schooling.”

My friend, Pascal, a teacher at a low-income charter high school in San Francisco, feels that school has been a void this spring, “a lost semester”. He didn’t want to use his real name for fear the school would seek retribution. “It would make a big difference if the students were more motivated. Many of my low-income students don’t even have access to an available computer. And I can’t force my kids to turn on their cameras when I’m teaching them, so I don’t know whether I’m connecting with them at all. All I see are their names on the screen. It’s crickets out there.”

Let’s face it! We were not a video conferencing world. But will life and the business world ever be the same again in Silicon Valley and the world?


Virtual happy hours and barbecues are all the rage for adults. People are connecting with distant friends so they will seem less “distant”. I even attended a memorial service via Zoom last week, and 240 people from around the world showed up.

In the workplace, this is not the first time that a company’s taken the physical workplace virtual.

As a long-time Cisco employee, I did not find the…

Whether it’s about Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud Computing, or cumulus clouds and butterfly migration, I write because I love it. There’s also a need for good content and a rabid fixation on research all the time including in the middle of a pandemic quarantine. In fact, people need to understand how these new technologies will affect their lives…especially if they can help us prevent or stop Covid-19 and future pandemics.


Of the fields I write about, AI is the most promising for positive impact. It helped track the Coronavirus out of Wuhan and has…

Be real!

There’s hardly a cyberattack you haven’t faced.

It’s exhausting, but you have a great track record.

But face it. It’s more than an uphill fight!

Success is only limited most of the time. The pace is brutal. And getting more brutal every quarter.

More than 70% of global organizations have difficulty identifying, let alone protecting, corporate high-value assets according to the Accenture Security Index. At the same time, the financial impact of cyberattacks is exploding. The average cost of cybercrime has gone up to $11.7 million per organization in 2017, an increase of 23% over the previous year.

You’re a great marketer. A rock star!

But do you fear that you’re just throwing content up online?

Let’s be honest.

Human marketers tend to use gut feeling to determine what content to publish next on their website.

Or they try to get strategic by spending tons of time on keyword research, topic selection, and performance tracking.

Those are all noble endeavors!

But, today, they can all be turned over to AI at a reasonable cost.

A lot of AI marketing tools are great at improving customer engagement, reducing churn and improving brand trust.

AI is opening doors to so…

This past Spring, I took an advanced course at Stanford entitled
“AI and Machine Learning: Research and Applications”. Many course topics piqued my interest, but this one that was fundamental to the rapidly changing marketplace. It also was a fascinating way to explain the key technologies of applied AI.

Why has Data Analytics brought such attention to AI and Machine Learning? The answer is simply that Artificial Intelligence can deal with large and complex data sets in ways that traditional data processing-or humans-cannot.

Let’s use a banking application as an example. The app streams millions of records a second, and…

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can cut time and headaches to speed drugs to market.

RPA is an emerging form of business process automation technology based on the notion of software robots (bots) that let any business user train a bot. These bots can then go out and complete boring, time-consuming, repetitive backend processes for companies. For most companies, this means that humans will be freed from filling out purchase orders, W-2s, and other business-critical items.

With life sciences companies and universities where clinical trials are taking place, automation and, specifically RPA should be a top priority.

Improved productivity would be…

Businesses are going digital to leverage business advantage from faster time to market, automation efficiencies and execution speed. The race is on to achieve digital connectedness of their entire value chains.

At the same time, cybercriminals see the increasing digitization as a window of opportunity. Cybercrime syndicates are actively targeting digital ecosystems including cloud infrastructure, software as a service (SaaS) offerings and internet of things (IoT) devices. Enterprises are faced with the challenge of pushing for greater gains in business advantage while balancing the risk of cyber exposure.

Traditional cybersecurity approaches may offer only limited help. For the newly emerging digital world, cybersecurity needs to be reimagined. AI is a vital partner in that new relationship in 2019.

Why now?

Cybercriminals are using ever more innovative approaches to drum up…

In the disruptive economic and technological benefits of AI is a threat that Dr. Kai Fu Lee claims may bring a “new caste system, split into a plutocratic AI elite and the powerless struggling masses.” According to him, if we allow AI economics to run their natural course, the geopolitical tumult of recent years will look like child’s play.

In his upcoming book “AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order”, due out on September 25, he claims that AI will lead to a feeling of worthlessness of people who have lost their work to machines and “question…

Christopher Nordlinger

Ph.D. Fulbright Scholar. AI/ML, Cybersecurity, Data Analytics & EdTech Content Marketing Mgr./Storyteller/Continuous Learner. Startups, Cisco, U.S. State Dept.

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