Tag Archives: IBM

The Race Is On to Control Artificial Intelligence, and Tech’s Future

Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft are using high salaries and games pitting humans against computers to try to claim the standard on which all companies will build their A.I. technology.

In this fight — no doubt in its early stages — the big tech companies are engaged in tit-for-tat publicity stunts, circling the same start-ups that could provide the technology pieces they are missing and, perhaps most important, trying to hire the same brains.

For years, tech companies have used man-versus-machine competitions to show they are making progress on A.I. In 1997, an IBM computer beat the chess champion Garry Kasparov. Five years ago, IBM went even further when its Watson system won a three-day match on the television trivia show “Jeopardy!” Today, Watson is the centerpiece of IBM’s A.I. efforts.

Today, only about 1 percent of all software apps have A.I. features, IDC estimates. By 2018, IDC predicts, at least 50 percent of developers will include A.I. features in what they create.

Source: The Race Is On to Control Artificial Intelligence, and Tech’s Future – The New York Times

The next “tit-for-tat” publicity stunt should most definitely be a battle with robots, exactly like BattleBots, except…

  1. Use A.I. to consume vast amounts of video footage from previous bot battles, while identifying key elements of bot design that gave a bot the ‘upper hand’.  From a human cognition perspective, this exercise may be subjective. The BattleBot scoring process can play a factor in 1) conceiving designs, and 2) defining ‘rules’ of engagement.
  2. Use A.I. to produce BattleBot designs for humans to assemble.
  3. Autonomous battles, bot on bot, based on Artificial Intelligence battle ‘rules’ acquired from the input and analysis of video footage.

As a Data Deluge Grows, Companies Rethink Storage

At Pure Storage, a device introduced on Monday holds five times as much data as a conventional unit.

  • IBM estimates that by 2020 we will have 44 zettabytes — the thousandfold number next up from exabytes — generated by all those devices. It is so much information that Big Blue is staking its future on so-called machine learning and artificial intelligence, two kinds of pattern-finding software built to cope with all that information.
  • Pure Storage chief executive, Scott Dietzen, “No one can look at all their data anymore; they need algorithms just to decide what to look at,”

Source: As a Data Deluge Grows, Companies Rethink Storage – The New York Times

Additional Editorial:

Pure Storage is looking to “compress” the amount of data that can be stored in a Storage Array using Flash Memory, “Flashblade”.   They are also tuning the capabilities of the solution for higher I/O throughput, and optimized, addressable storage.

Several companies with large and growing storage footprints have already begin to customize their storage solutions to accommodate the void in this space.

Building more storage arrays is a temporary measure while the masses of people, or fleets of cars turn on their IoT enabled devices.

Data is flooding the Internet, and innumerable, duplicate ‘objects’  of information, requiring redundant storage, are prevalent conditions. A registry, or public ‘records’ may be maintained.   Based on security measures, and the public’s appetite determine what “information objects” may be centrally located.  As intermediaries, registrars may build open source repositories, as an example, using Google Drive, or Microsoft Azure based on the data types of ‘Information Objects”

  • Information object registrars may contain all different types of objects, which indicate where data resides on the Internet.
    • vaguely similar to Domain name registrar hierarchy
    • another example, Domain Name System (DNS) is the best example of the registration process I am suggesting to clone and leverage for all types of data ranging from entertainment to medical records.
  • Medical “Records”, or Medical “Information Objects”
    • X-ray images, everything from dental to medical, and correlating to other medical information object(s),
  • Official ‘Education’ records from K-12 and beyond, e.g. degrees and certifications achieved;
  • Secure, easy access to ‘public’ ‘information objects’ by the owner, and creator.  Central portal(s) driving user traffic.  Enables ‘owner’ of records to take ‘ownership’ of their health, for example

Note: there are already ‘open’ platforms being developed and used for several industries including medical; with limed access.  However, the changes I’m proposing imposes a ‘registrar’ process whereby portals of information are registered, and are interwoven, linking to one another.

It’s an issue of excess weight upon the “Internet”, and not just the ‘weight’ of unnecessary storage, the throughput within a weaved set of networks as well.

Think of it in terms of opportunity cost.  First quantify what an ‘information object’, or ‘block of data’ equates to in cost.  It seems there must already be a measurement in existence, a medium amount to charge / cost per “information object”.  Finally, for each information object type, e.g. song, movie, news story, technical specifications, etc. identify how many times this exact object is perpetuated in the Internet.

Steps on reducing  data waste:

  • Without exception, each ‘information object’ contains an (XML) meta data file.
  • Each of the attributes describing information objects are built out as these assets are being used; e.g. proactive autopopulate search, and using an AI Induction engine
  • X out of Y metadata type and values are equivalent
    • the more attributes correlate to one or more objects, the more likely these objects are
      • related on some level, e.g. sibling, cousin
      • or identical objects, and may need meta relationship update
    • the metadata encapsulates the ‘information object’

Another opportunity to organize “Information Asset Objects” would be to leverage the existing DNS platform for managing “Information Asset Repositories”.   This additional Internet DNS structure would enable queries across information asset repositories.   Please see “So Much Streaming Music, Just Not in One Place”  for more details.

Building Apps Incorporating the AI Power of IBM Watson’s Cognative Computing Cloud

IBM Watson’s APIs are available today so teams may ramp up quickly and use IBM’s cognitive computing engine.  From IBM Watson’s site, it seems like anyone may build against their cognitive computing platform.  In addition,  your team may submit to be ‘Featured’ in their application Gallery.  Explore the library of featured applications produced by this partnership.  At the time of this writing, there were 14 applications.
Several of these apps have been created by IBM to showcase their technology.  IBM Watson APIs are categorized into ‘Services’ used:
  • Dialog
  • Natural Language Classifier
  • AlchemyData News
  • Personality Insights
  • Tradeoff Analytics
  • Speech to Text
  • Language Translation
  • Text to Speech
  • Visual Recognition
  • Concept Insights
  • Relationship Extraction

They sound like AI,BI comprehensive services, but in full disclosure, I’ve not read though the API docs available by IBM.  It can be found here, grouped by IBM Watson’s Cognitive Services.

One of the applications powered by IBM Watson in their gallery is a “News Explorer”, which leverages the Service ‘AlchemyData News’.
The app runs in a browser, and consists of 5 main User Interface components.  The centrally placed, “News Network” widget similar to a mind map, correlates articles, companies, organizations, and people.  Visually it displays these components and their relationships in groupings similar to a relationship tree.
 News Network
The left side of the screen has a table called ‘Details’, one column with short descriptions of the stories.  From the UI perspective, it enables users to follow the data from left to right, from details to graphical representations.
Details
The right most side of the screen contains a world map leveraged as a heat map in which all the News is derived.
Locations
Right under the ‘Locations’ widget, there is a ‘Topics’ tag cloud.
TopicsTags
I encourage you to check out the News application, click here.
In addition to UI drill down within the widgets, there is a comprehensive search capacity.
Are you ready to compete with Siri, or Cortana, or build your own Expert solution?  Looks like IBM is empowering you to do so!

Cooking Wars: Popularizing the HoloLens before it’s Released.

An aspiring Chief or Cook armed with a HoloLens on a special edition of the Food Network show Chopped?  How well would HoloLens and Human come together to create a brilliant dish?
At the TV show’s core rules, each contestant must come up with a dish to be served to the Judges.  The caveat, the Chiefs must use all the ingredients from a ‘blind’ basket.  To enable a Chief with a HoloLens would instantly give the contestant a potentially ‘unfair’ advantage.  Bringing a computer with Internet access and your list of digital recipes would, on the ‘Surface’, be an equivalent advantage.
If the producers of Chopped want to level the playing field,  why not allow the other contestants use of a Microsoft Surface, continuing along the same lines of providing a HoloLens to one, or potentially all of the Chiefs.
‘Adhoc’ cooking with a HoloLens, the user may:
  • Search libraries of food recipes, filtered by the basket ingredients.   HoloLens uses object recognition to identify each of the items taken out of the basket.  Chiefs should not have to ‘say’ or ‘input’ the ingredients to the HoloLens.  Take every advantage to speed up, not slow down interaction of Chef and machine ‘working together’
  • A step by step walk through to execute the recipe, HoloLens and human working together. e.g. HoloLens highlights the salt on the user’s field of vision.  HoloLens articulates what is needed and when, like a tutor over your shoulder.
  • Recipes may have a ‘pause’ to allowremind the Chief to ‘check the food’, and provide feedback to the HoloLens.  AI on the HoloLens may indicate back to the Chief to action, such as the Chief saying it tastes too XYZ, so HoloLens responds, add NN of Salt.
  • HoloLens may also state reminders such as ‘you should be plating your food by now’,  or you haven’t added this ingredient yet.
  • The HoloLens may guide the ‘food plating’ process, almost like an empty puzzle being populated.

Note: Microsoft is not responsible for any  accidental cuts. 🙂

What’s Next?

IBM’s Watson goes into battle on Bravo’s Top Chef  with the aid of any household  cook, and an Augmented Reality (AR) Headset, such as the HoloLens.

Human Evolution: Technology Continues to Transform Socieities for Generations

In the last 20 years, I’ve observed technology trends, and Tech achievements have risen and fallen from the mainstream.  Tech has augmented our lives, and enhanced our human capabilities.  Our evolution will continue to be molded by technology and shape humanity for years to come.

Digital Asset Management (DAM)

Everything you might find on your computer from emails to video are digital assets.  Content from providers, team collaboration,  push and/or pull asset distribution, and archiving content are the workflows of DAM.

DAM solutions are rapidly going main stream as small to medium sized content providers look to take control of their content from ingestion to distribution.  Shared digital assets will continue to grow rapidly.  Pressure by stockholders to maximize use of digital assets to grow revenue will fuel initiatives to  globally share and maintain digital asset taxonomies.  For example, object recognition applied to image, sound and video assets will dynamically add tags to assets in an effort to index ever growing content.  If standard taxonomies are not globally adopted, and continually applied to assets, digital content stored will become, in essence, unusable.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

All devices across all business verticals will become ‘Smart’ devices with bidirectional data flow.  Outbound ‘Smart’ device data flow is funneled into repositories for analysis to produce dashboards, reporting, and rules suggestions.

Inbound ‘Smart’ device data can trigger actions on the device. Several devices may work in concert defined by ‘grouping’ e.g. Home: Environmental. Remote programming updates may be triggered by the analysis of data.

  • AI Rules Engine runs on ‘backend’.  Rules defined by Induction,  through data analysis, and human set parameters,  executed in sequence
  • Device optimization updates, presets on devices may be tuned based on ‘transaction’ history, feedback from user, and other ‘Smart’ devices.
  • Grouped ‘Smart’ devices, e.g. health monitors’ data uploaded, analyzed, and correlating across group.  Updated rules, and notifications triggered.
  • Manual user commands, ad hoc or scheduled

… as a Service

Cloud ‘Services’ enables scalability on demand, relatively lower cost [CapEx] overhead, offsite redundancy, etc.  Provides software solutions companies to rapidly deploy to Dev., Test, and Prod. environments.  Gaming, storage, and virtual machines are just a few of the ‘…as a service’ offerings.  IoT analysis may reveal a new need for another service.

Human Interface

  • Augmented Reality A.R.

Integrates user to surrounding environment with overlay images to your eyes to REpresent anything, e.g. Identifies surrounding people with Twitter handle/user name above their heads.  Interacts with smartphone for Inbound and outbound data flow.  May allow App and OS programmers to enable users to interact with their ‘traditional’ software in new ways, e,g. Microsoft Windows 8+, current interaction with ’tiles’, may shift from a two to three dimensional manipulation and view of the tiles.  Tiles (apps) pop up when, through object recognition, predefined characteristics match, e.g.  Looking at a bank check sent to you from the mail?  Your Bank of America tile / app may ask if you want to deposit the check right now?

  • Virtual Reality, V.R.

As more drones, for example, collect video footage, may be used for people to experience the landscapes, beaches, cities, mountains, and other features of a potential destination, which may lead to tourism.  In fact, travel agencies may purchase the V.R. Headsets, and subscribe to a library of V.R. content.  Repository platform would need to be created.  Specs for the ‘How To’ on collecting V.R. Video footage should be accessible.  Hathaway real estate offers a V.R. tour of the house, from their office.

Autonomous  Vehicles (Average Consumer or hobbyist)

  • Cars 
  • Drones
  • Satellites 

Social Media Evolution

Driving forces to integrate with society puts pressure on individuals to integrate with the collective social conscious.  As digital assets are published, people will lunge at the opportunity to self tag every digital asset both self and community shared assets.  Tagging on social media platforms is already going ahead.   Taxonomies are built, maintained and shared across social media platforms.  Systematically tagged [inanimate] objects occur using object recognition. Shared, and maintained global taxonomies not only store data on people and their associated meta data, (e,g,  shoe size, education level completed, HS photo,etc.) but also store meta data about groups of people, relationships and their tagged object data.

The taxonomies are analyzed and correlated, providing better, more concise demographic profiles.  These profiles can be used for 

  • Clinical trials data collection
  • Fast identification of potential outbreaks, used by the CDC
  • The creation and management of AI produced Hedge Funds
  • Solicitation of goods and services

Out of Compliance

These three dreaded words you are guaranteed to see more and more often.  As all aspects of our lives become meta data on a taxonomy tree, the analysis of information will make correlations which drive consumers and members of society ‘out of compliance’.  For example, pointers to your shared videos of you skydiving will get added to your personal taxonomy tree.  Your taxonomy tree will be available and mandatory to get life insurance from a tier 1 company.  Upon daily inspection of your tree by an insurance AI engine, a hazardous event was flagged. Notifications from your life insurance company reminding you ‘dangerous’ activities are not covered on your policy.  Two infractions may drive up your premiums.

People Turn Toward “Data Banks” to Commoditize Purchase and User Behavior Profiles

Anyone who is anti “Big Brother”, this may not be the article for you, in fact, skip it. 🙂

The Pendulum Swings Away from GDPR

In the not so distant future, “Data Bank” companies consisting of Subject Matter Experts (SME) across all verticals,  may process your data feeds collected from your purchase , and user behavior profiles.  Consumers will be encouraged to submit their data profiles into a Data Bank who will offer incentives such as a reduction of insurance premiums to cash back rewards.

 

Everything from activity trackers, home automation, to vehicular automation data may be captured and aggregated.    The data collected can then be sliced and diced to provide macro and micro views of the information.    On the abstract, macro level the information may allow for demographic, statistical correlations, which may contribute to corporate strategy.

On a granular view, the data will provide “data banks” the opportunity to sift through data to perform analysis and correlations that lead to actionable information.

 

Is it secure?  Do you care if a hacker steals your weight loss information? May not be an issue if collected Purchase and Use Behavior Profiles aggregate into a Blockchain general ledger.  Data Curators and Aggregators work with SMEs to correlate the data into:

  • Canned, ‘intelligent’ reports targeted to specific subject matter, or across silos of data types
  • ‘Universes’ (i.e.  Business Objects) of data that may be ‘mined’ by consumer approved, ‘trusted’ third party companies, e.g. your insurance companies.
  • Actionable information based on AI subject matter rules engines

 

Consumers may have the option of sharing their personal data with specific companies by proxy, through a ‘data bank’ granular to the data point collected.  Sharing of Purchase and User Behavior Profiles:

  1. may lower [or raise] your insurance premiums
  2. provide discounts on preventive health care products and services, e.g. vitamins to yoga classes
  3. Targeted, affordable,  medicine that may redirect the choice of the doctor to an alternate.  The MD would be contacted to validate the alternate.

The curriated data collected may be harnessed by thousands of affinity groups to offer very discrete products and services.  Purchase and User Behavior Profiles,  correlated information stretches beyond any consumer relationship experienced today.

 

At some point, health insurance companies may require you to wear a tracker to increase or slash premiums.  Auto Insurance companies may offer discounts for access to car smart data to make sure suggested maintenance guidelines for service are met.

You may approve your “data bank” to give access to specific soliciting government agencies or private research firms looking to analyze data for their studies. You may qualify based on the demographic, abstracted data points collected for incentives provided may be tax credits, or paying studies.

 

Purchase and User Behavior Profiles:  Adoption and Affordability

If ‘Data Banks’ are able to collect Internet of Things (IoT) enabled, are cost inhibiting.  here are a few ways to increase their adoption:

  1.  [US] tax coupons to enable the buyer, at the time of purchase, to save money.  For example, a 100 USD discount applied at the time of purchase of an Activity Tracker, with the stipulation that you may agree,  at some point, to participate in a study.
  2. Government subsidies: the cost of aggregating and archiving Purchase and Behavioral profiles through annual tax deductions.  Today, tax incentives may allow you to purchase an IoT device if the cost is an itemized medical tax deduction, such as an Activity Tracker that monitors your heart rate, if your medical condition requires it.
  3. Auto, Life, Homeowners, and Health policyholders may qualify for additional insurance deductions
  4. Affinity branded IoT devices, such as American Lung Association may sell a logo branded Activity Tracker.  People may sponsor the owner of the tracking pedometer to raise funds for the cause.

The World Bank has a repository of data, World DataBank, which seems to store a large depth of information:

World Bank Open Data: free and open access to data about development in countries around the globe.”

Here is the article that inspired me to write this article:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/you-might-be-wearing-a-health-tracker-at-work-one-day-2015-03-11

Privacy and Data Protection Creates Data Markets

Initiatives such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other privacy initiatives which seek to constrict access to your data to you as the “owner”, as a byproduct, create opportunities for you to sell your data.  

Blockchain: Purchase, and User Behavior Profiles

As your “vault”, “Data Banks” will collect and maintain your two primary datasets:

  1. As a consumer of goods and services, a Purchase Profile is established and evolves over time.  Online purchases are automatically collected, curated, appended with metadata, and stored in a data vault [Blockchain].  “Offline” purchases at some point, may become a hybrid [on/off] line purchase, with advances in traditional monetary exchanges, and would follow the online transaction model.
  2. User Behavior (UB)  profiles, both on and offline will be collected and stored for analytical purposes.  A user behavior “session” is a use case of activity where YOU are the prime actor.  Each session would create a single UB transaction and are also stored in  a “Data Vault”.   UB use cases may not lead to any purchases.

These datasets wholly owned by the consumer, are safely stored, propagated, and immutable with a solution such as with a Blockchain general ledger.

Barter Functionality on Point of Sale Devices

Highly configurable Point of Sale (POS) device, when the words “Is it OK to charge you XXX.XX USD, Yes or No, you may select NO, and then a barter process may start. For example, if the total purchase price is above a certain threshold, e.g. 100 USD, their store loyalty card has N number of previous transactions from you, and the items in the cart are specified that there is additional margin to ‘remove’, the POS may display an alternate amount to charge the customer, a bartered price, cutting into the store margin for each item. However, based on the frequency of the shopper, the total price of the cart, and the amount of margin that is available to be removed, or shaved off, an alternate price may be displayed to the shopper.

 

Bitcoin Exchange, and Practical Usage: What Can I get for a Bitcoin?

I was reading the article, As Big Investors Emerge, Bitcoin Gets Ready for Its Close-Up, and am amazed how far people are taking Bitcoin as a real currency.  I read in the article that there are investors paying substantial real money to acquire Bitcoins.  The article states they hope retail places like Starbuck or Amazon may accept this currency.

When I go to Marketwatch.com and compare the currency exchange rates, GBP: USD, for example, I’d like to see this currency listed so I understand the actual value, the futures of this ‘foreign’ currency.  There are many economic questions regarding the creation of a currency, and the belief in that currency.  Look at Greece and the Euro, the Peso, the Loonie, speaking of, it seems that there may be a market for bitcoins, but not in the traditional sense that ‘physical’ goods are currently exchanged.

Bitcoins will be traded for the use of cloud resources and services, such as computation cycles, and other cloud applications and resources.  If Grid Computing, where users allow the utilization of their computation resources as I suggest in my Post Grid and Cloud Computing Going Head to Head: Profit for You, then both Cloud and Grid computing can trade in Bitcoins,and what they buy is cloud resource utilization.  An exchange may exist so people can trade,  and the value of these coins may have value, allowing for the  ‘tangible’ purchase of computation resource, which may actually mean something.

This approach gets muddied when you are able to apply cloud printing resources which print 3D ‘physical’ goods.    I would have to see major cloud players, such as Amazon to allow for the acceptance of these coins.

For starters, I can see, if you acquire an Amazon Visa or Mastercard, instead of the points system where the cardholder gets reward points, they can be allocated Bitcoins.  Amazon would have to acquire real Bitcoins, and an exchange would have to be established, so if Amazon’s clients are distributed Bitcoins, they are given the proper allocation, e.g. 1 USD to N Bitcoins.  Anyway, Starbucks coffee for thought.

Here are a few other ideas for Bitcoin Applications:

  • Atlantic City, Las Vegas, or Other Physical Casino slot machines that accept and pay out in Bitcoins
  • On line gaming, such as on line poker or slots, that accept and pay out Bitcoins
  • Affinity Card programs that pay out in Bitcoins, according to their own standard, anything from On line stores like Amazon, to Computer Electronics Brick and Mortar stores to Credit Cards
  • PayPal, or other intermediary transaction firms that allow their customers to send and receive Bitcoins as payment.  The transaction intermediary firm may have an independent account for Bitcoins specifically, exclusive from other currencies.

Business Intelligence, Analogies, and Articulation of Data on Mediums

As I was reading the article from the New York Times, As Boom Lures App Creators, Tough Part Is Making a Living, the typical doom and gloom story about the get rich quick with creation of applications on Tablets is true of any start-up company, may it be a restaurant, clothing shop, or other.  You have idea, Sally has an idea, and so does Fred, and the likely hood everyone will be elated about every bar, restaurant, clothing store or application is ridiculous.   Simple economics, and opportunity cost, you cannot go to every restaurant in parallel every night.  One USD trades off an opportunity to spend it somewhere else.  One area I would suspect has massive opportunities in the coming weeks, months, and years is Business Intelligence, Analogies, and Articulation of Data on a Tablet medium.  Yes, it is true, there are established players in the marketplace, but being established also makes you less nimble for change.  Being able to look at a clients Data Warehouse, and create mediums for analogies expressing where there customers have been spending their money, why, and help predict trends in a KISS fashion to any level of a business organization is key.  That is why the innate talents of user interface, user interface engineering, or way back it was called industrial design.  In short, part of the appetite for corporate spending will always come from how do I make more money with the product I just bought, Return on Investment (ROI).  Business Intelligence is one area I have been studying for years, and as all people know, we all find it difficult to express, or analogize thoughts, and specifically, dive into ‘data’ and turn it into information a CEO, or business analyst can understand and turn that ‘information’ into a new marketing campaign, hence, business intelligence.  Until we can all read minds, and transfer like for like information, BI, and improving upon this space will be an area to derive income.

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WordPress Shortcode API to Cloud Storage to Sell Any Digital Intellectual Property.

So, I was a browsing, going through bills, and thinking, hey relating to my other article on Google Docs and their new API where you could use them as a data warehouse, it occurred to me.   Why can’t we have a public API for all the Cloud Storage systems like Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3 (or Box.com), create a plugin to WordPress, add E-Commerce, and you now have your own place to sell digital music, or any Digital intellectual, property store, or host your own database OLTP or OLAP.

And my bro, Fat Panda, might have been thinking the same thing.  He’s one step behind, but he will catch on.  I will try to update for ‘the cheap seats’ in a bit.

For the cheap seats, even those static files stored up in the cloud, you can use a similar model to Google Docs <-> Google Fusion where you add tabular data to storage, read,over-write, or update using home made table locking mechanism, and essentially use the cloud as a data warehouse, or even a database.  Microsoft seems to have a lead on transitional and analytical storage with Microsoft Azure, relational in nature in the cloud, but it is so much simpler than that with cloud storage, although if not implemented with ‘row’ locking,there is an issue with OLTP (On Line Transaction Processing) row level, high volume, but with OLAP, On Line Analytic Processing, not so much, analyzing the way your business does business, and profit more from your consumer data.  There are easy ways to implement row level locking for row level locking of tabular data stored in cloud storage like AWS or Box.Net,  The methods to implement row level locking for OLTP systems using storage in the cloud are easy to implement, and will remind you of old school type alternatives to supplement the AutoNumber columns in MS Access or Identity columns in SQL Server. At the end of the day to either sell digital intellectual property from a WordPress implementation, or run your entire business with a robust cloud database solution for OLTP or OLAP systems using flat file storage!  Why go through all this when the Amazons AWS and Microsoft Azure have or will yearn to start building these solutions in parallel?  Cost effective solutions, and the entire database arena monopolized by Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, and MySQL, just got extended to a whole lot of database vendors.  It may take a while, but we already know the big Gorilla in the room Google is the first to strike in this game, as a non-traditional database vendor, cloud storage provider with their updated Google Docs API, and optionally usage of their Fusion application.