Alpesh Doshi is Founder and CEO of Fintricity, a fintech consultancy specialising in agile digital transformation. He is a globally renowned thought leader in how organisations can transform and future-proof their business using emerging technologies, particularly around digital, big data & analytics and blockchain. He is focused on innovative thinking and practical strategies to add value for his clients fast and often, introducing the agile approach of working to digital transformation.
Open Source and Collaboration is the Future, the Proprietary way of thinking is the Past
I think these events are good, because you meet with people you know, and you can have a debate and a discussion about all different approaches to the market. The community is quite small and everyone knows each other. People are doing different things. And obviously they were some fundamental differences of what people think. I don’t know if you were in the session, there were some opposing views on what should be done in the tech industry, you know, I am a techie. And the tech… you can do it. And these changes are not just happening in energy, it’s about how blockchain is gonna change the world, and how do you evolve it to make it real. And that’s the thing; It’s all about making it real.
We are building this new model through our engineers, through our funders, through our consultants, implementing open-source and collaborative models. That is a key pillar, and how you are going to get adoption. Everyone who is trying to push through proprietary stuff, they will fail. It’s never worked; the evidence is there. The core structure of things will have to be open source, otherwise it won’t work. Nobody, anymore, wants to be tied in to a particular vendor or a particular company around just one piece of it. But building a business solution within this collaborative, open source model isn’t easy, it’s pretty hard.
The Prosumer Model and Tokenisation are going to power this Energy Shift
Finally, you start to see that you can connect the value-chain together. At the end of the day, who is the consumer, it’s the individual or the company, using the energy. You have to connect that to the rest of the model. Because the demand side, of the users of energy, are relying on the supply side. And then you have to think on how does it fits together. Will what they are doing there, lead to the consumers of energy being able to get what they need? And I see the disconnect. There is a disconnect that I see.
Enough people aren’t talking about the tokenisation model yet; one of the panel members was saying “Oh yes, but none of the guys care about tokenisation”. Whether they care about it or not is going to affect them. It’s already there, and it is going to happen; this tokenisation model. If you are not thinking about it now, you are going to have think about it later; whether you like it or not. The way to not approach this is by thinking “no, it is not gonna happen, never gonna happen, we are not doing, we don’t want to do it”. And then when it comes to having to structure your whole business model around tokenisation, these companies will be nowhere.But I know there are some key pillars of capability around and they are going to exist. And I am saying, that’s why a token model, a token economic model is going to exist. And is going to happen, big time and multiple industries.
Well I think the foundations have been put in place. I think there are market pressures in the energy market like sustainability, reducing carbon-footprint. And you see demand is driving the biggest consumers of energy to figure out how they are going to reduce their energy costs and consumption. On the supply side there is still not a supply of clean and alternative energies. So there are people out there looking at how can they build that capacity and offer that into the community. There are also communities building their own energy creation. I don’t need to go out to the grid I’m just gonna use my own energies. And so that is going to scale as well.
Blockchain is just a tool for the Energy Sector, you build your solution around it
These are global solutions to the energy crisis. This is not just about blockchain. You are building a solution and a solution does not just involve blockchain. It involves a bunch of other technologies. IoT and you can actually measure power, production or consumption that help you to use AI to determine your demand. I talked with somebody the other day who works with one of the largest engineering companies, and they don’t have an accurate way for measuring what the consumption is. Well, unless you figure that out, where the consumption is, how can you build the model to reduce that consumption?. Therefore you have to see what is the solution to this problem: is it IoT, is it data, is it blockchain? Or perhaps, is it all these things together?
People get on the bandwagons about blockchain. As expected in any market, what happens is, AI is becoming really sexy. The media is so.. So many media outlets just don’t understand AI. You hear them talking about AI and Google Assistant or Siri. This is just voice recognition converting voice to tech, that’s not AI. I mean, the quality of these products are actually reasonably good these days. But, there is really not AI in there at al. Analytics of formulas and in a spreadsheet; again, that’s not AI. I want to stress this, because this is a problem that I have to encounter all of the time.
The reality is, nobody really cares whether it’s blockchain or not. What they care about is solving business problems, or what you could build around it. And that’s what you focus on; the fundamentals of how this new world is gonna work. The creation of this new models through decentralised model will fundamentally change the world. It will take a lot of time, is not going to happen tomorrow. But in every market and every sector where you can have that kind of model, you fundamentally change every business, every market. How people make money, you can do it.
These technologies, decentralised ledgers, AI, are going to change the world, but it isn’t going to happen overnight…
The problem is people think, ‘Oh AI is gonna lose my job. It‘s not going to do that’. So many things that humans can do that machines can’t do, won’t do for the next 200 years or so. Is not going to happen. I worked with data scientists, I did AI, neural-network in the 80s. Today it’s called deep learning .In the late 80’s early 90’s we called it neural -network, which is some of the sectors in name. Now it’s called deep learning- cooler name, but it’s the same stuff! Take Google search, they use something called a knowledge graph, which they have been working on for years, so when you type on a Google search ‘Brad Pitt’, it doesn’t search the name of the word ‘Brad’ or ‘Pitt’; there is a semantic model that describes Brad Pitt as a concept. They don’t call it a semantic model, they call it a knowledge graph because obviously that sounds a lot sexier. But that is also part of the AI landscape, and has been for a while, again, this stuff isn’t exactly new.
And I get frustrated with that because people are using buzz words and band it about. They don’t really know what they mean. The reality of AI is usually far removed from what people are actually thinking about. If you talk about AI in general is made out of 10 to 20 different disciplines, if not more. And these different disciplines can all be quite separate and not really working together. Jobs are going to change. However, we have been working in the big data, AI space for 10 years, we are still early in terms of using these technologies to transform business. If you look to these companies they are just starting using big data analytics. It’s not called big data analytics, it’s called AI now, but it’s the same. And people are just starting to use that. If you look at some of our plans and prospects, they are literally just starting to use data. If you look at how complex it is to implement any technology in any company, when you start doing this kind of stuff in these companies, it becomes, people realise… You know to change something is hard work. It has been mentioned throughout this event. People underestimate, I know this having worked in that space for 20 years. People think ‘Oh yeah, I’m just going to buy blockchain and it will all be fine!’. No, no, no. Implementing this stuff is fundamentally changing our existing infrastructure, your business. That’s hell of lot of change, that’s hard work.