Perhaps you sometimes wonder the same things we do: “How can Uber instantly connect me to a car when I'm on a random street corner some 500 miles from home and then automatically bill my credit card, send me an invoice, and capture my passenger rating in seconds?” “How can I be watching a YouTube video on a mobile device while moving at 130 mph on a train?”
These two experiences, moments of “magic” that have become almost mundane, would have been impossible even a few years ago. What's surprising is that Uber and YouTube, in spite of offering dissimilar services, both run their operations on a “machine” with essentially the same components. This new machine, what we call “a system of intelligence,” is rapidly becoming the cornerstone for companies that compete on knowledge. It sits at the center of Facebook, Instagram, Google, e*Trade, Betterment, and all the other examples of today's digital leaders.
Yet, for all its importance, the new machine is still largely misunderstood. Most of us actively consume the output of these systems of intelligence without slowing down to think about how such real-time, personalized, and curated experiences are actually created and delivered.
To that end, in this chapter we will explain what these new machines are—what the technology components are, how they fit together, what a good one looks like, what they mean to enterprise work, and how they will profoundly impact the future of your work.
We know; ...