The technology industry is like Doctor Who. At the end of each season, it morphs into something new. If you engage with the new technology, you will see that underlying it is the same promise of past technology waves. The internet's promise led to automated buildings connecting us all globally, bringing mobility to work and digitizing the workplace with the promise of the autonomous building meeting the autonomous vehicle next. And if you consciously #ChooseToChallenge the digital workplace to work to your values, you can make it work for everyone equitably. That is when your work becomes more than a vocation. 

Today, I work with, teach, write, and do keynotes about technologies that did not exist when I graduated college. In my college thesis, I built out a voice assistance system (voice to text) in a non-Alexa, non-iPhone, non-AI world. Little did I know that I would have a vocation to be a technology futurist focused on IoT, looking at voice assistants and teaching AIX design to designers and product managers about their power to genderize and humanize artificial intelligence.

Early in my career, I wanted to build operating system software and opted out of working with database applications. Life smiled, took me on many meanders in my career, and taught me to love data and make it the center of my vocation. I moved to the business side as product manager, business leader, and mobile analytics leader and built business growth all using the power of data.

Today, I teach business professionals to #careerpivot to build data driven businesses. I teach city leaders to ethically embrace a deluge of data and to prepare for autonomous vehicles. I aspire to bridge the gap between data science and business by mentoring business leaders on their role by learning NoCodeAI.


Data is the power of your customer's communication

You hop from one app to another and you become traffic to a business.

You choose to ignore the images that tempt you to purchase and become feedback to refine their AI recommendation model.

You scroll impatiently, and every second counts as engagement on their app.

You walk outside for fresh air and your fitbit collects data from your steps.

You admire nature, take a picture, and data flows through a carrier network to a social network to refine its facial recognition algorithm.

You walk into your building and provide data to facilities about the headcount of people meeting the fire code.

You turn on the light, and your building automation data shows an increase in energy consumption.

You leave to go home, and your auto/train/bike starts counting miles.

You reach home, and your voice assistant welcomes you and stores data on your mood and music preference.

You go to bed and your sleep monitor starts counting your REM cycle.

Remember, in all of this, you are the data. But, you are the customer. You have the power to make every single building, car, business, and AI engine listen, change, and adapt to you.


Your wish is their training data.

What helped me make a vocation out of my passion for data was simply my choice to surround myself with people smarter than me. And to go with them on a journey chasing our passion in the latest technology and to learn how to bring it to work for my latest job. Amazing people got me thinking in new ways to see a cascade of disruption across industries and got me thinking about the impact of autonomous vehicles colliding with building automation. One simple example of this that we see today is how computer vision that trains autonomous vehicles is making its way into automated buildings with cameras for building safety.

For International Women's Day, Automated Buildings is teaming up with the business school of AI to bring the stories of amazing women in technology, building automation, and autonomous vehicles. Tell us if you are one of those women with an inspiring story to share or have a referral of an amazing colleague. We are ready to follow IWD 2020's  #ChooseToChallenge theme this year and challenge the lack of diversity and bring the career pivot stories of these women in the March issue of Automated Buildings.

Women have a superpower. We are not hesitant to use it.  

We ask questions.

When we ask questions, we get smarter.

When we ask questions, we learn.

When we ask questions, we drive change.

When we ask questions, we make people think.

When we ask questions, we make companies smarter.

Automation is not done by machines. It is done by humans who work with other humans and make choices about the technology and design to acceptable levels of safety, privacy, and equity.

If something does not work as you wish, stop and challenge it.

If something works for you but does not work for your colleague, stop and challenge it.

If something works for you but you see less and less of diverse, smart people, stop and challenge it.

Ask questions about why something works for you and why it does not work for your colleague who makes you smarter.

#ChooseToChallenge to make our automated buildings human by reminding them that technology that does not work for all does not work for any of us in the long run.  

Automated buildings are a reminder about our vocation, the power of people who make us smart daily, and the power of data. Our power as customers lies in our voice and the ability to ask questions. Make the choice to #ChooseToChallenge.

This article originally appeared in the February issue of See it in its entirety at