Stan Schneider is the CEO of RTI and author of the eBook, The Rise of the Robot Overlords: Clarifying the Industrial IoT. Find out what the rise of the robot overlords means and how it will impact the world as we know it.  We also discuss the ins and outs of autonomous vehicles and how companies building IIoT systems need to be thinking about security.

In Episode 22 of The Connext Podcast:

  • [0:32] How Stan went from crashing cars to accelerating the Industrial IoT
  • [2:34] What inspired Stan to write this eBook and how is it different from his first one?
  • [5:02] The story behind the title, “The Rise of the Robot Overlords”
  • [6:47] How this advancement in technology will impact our economy - from how we commute to how we are treated by a doctor  
  • [14:00] Why autonomous vehicles and robo taxis will be available for use sooner than you think
  • [15:31] How do you identify the best connectivity solution for a certain company?
  • [23:07] How should companies who are developing large, Industrial IoT systems handle security?
  • [29:04] Why the quality of life increases as technology gets better and what to expect in the future
  • [31:17] Will Stan write a third eBook?

Related Content:

  • [eBook]The Rise of the Robot Overlords: Clarifying the Industrial IoT
  • [Webinar] The Rise of the Robot Overlords: Clarifying the Industrial IoT, Part 1
  • [Whitepaper] The Secret Sauce of Autonomous Cars

Podcast Transcription:

Steven Onzo: Hi, and welcome to episode 22 of The Connext Podcast. In this episode, we speak with Stan Schneider, CEO of RTI. Stan recently wrote an ebook titled "The Rise of the Robot Overlords: Clarifying the Industrial IoT." In this interview, we talk to Stan about what inspired him to write this ebook. He discusses the state of the industrial IoT market and which technologies companies should consider when building their IIoT systems. We hope you enjoy this episode.

Cameron Emery: Hi, everyone. Thanks for tuning in to the Connects podcast. My name is Cameron. I'm the senior PR manager at RTI. And today I'll be interviewing Stan Schneider who is the CEO of RTI. Stan, since this is your first appearance on The Connext Podcast. Why don't you introduce yourself and give us a short bio?

[0:32] How Stan went from crashing cars to accelerating the Industrial IoT

Stan Schneider: Hi, I'm Stan Schneider. I'm the CEO of RTI. I don't know what I do here, but I definitely have fun doing it. A short bio. I was born a very young child. I grew up and got to be an older child. Now I'm an older child. I did a degree in University Michigan. My first real technical job was crashing cars, so I got to see first hand a lot of the carnage on the freeways. So we were actually not crashing real cars with people in it but it was a test lab for biomechanics impact testing at University Michigan. And I was all fired up about saving lots of lives because back then, 45,000 people a year were dying on highways in the U.S. and I wanted to make that better. And unfortunately last year, 40,000 died so it hasn't gotten much better. But now I think we have a real opportunity with autonomy.

Stan Schneider: Long story short, I left that. I ended up at Stanford doing a Ph.D. in aerospace robotics which now is really autonomous systems, would be called that today. And RTI has sort of in my career and passion since then. I've had three vastly different companies. Went from robotics company to a tools' company, sold that, and now we're the leading connectivity supplier in the industrial internet of things.

Stan Schneider: I should also say I'm the vice chair of a big organization called the IIC, Industrial Internet Consortium. It is by far the industries largest consortium, I guess well over 200 companies and we're trying to build an  architecture for the future of smart machines which I think is great because it's really going to change everything out there.

[2:34] What inspired you to write this eBook and how is it different from your first one?

Cameron Emery: Excellent. So we're here today to talk about your recent ebook that you wrote, "The Rise of the Robot Overlords." And this is the second ebook that you've written on the industrial IoT. Tell us what made you want to write this ebook and how is it different from your first one.

Stan Schneider: Well, I've learned a lot since the first one. It was two whole years ago, in this world two years is a very long time. The IoT, industrial IoT anyway is really only about four years old, if that. 2014, late 2014 really is when I count it as starting. IIC was a big part of that, was the first place that was really with the market. And the first ebook was in retrospect, I call it speculation at the time, it seemed like knowledge and forethought but some of which worked out, some of which didn't.

Stan Schneider: And one of the things, in particular, I had a whole section in there about how to classify different kinds of applications in this new world of smart things. And some of that I think was good. I do think that they are not classifiable very easily by the industries they're in, so the medical industry, and transportation industry, and automotive industry, for they all have lots of different problems. They all have classes of problems that need similar solutions. But it's not like an automotive solution works for everybody or medical solution. There's so many different kinds of applications.

Stan Schneider: So that's sort of didn't work out. That did work out in the first thing. But they also, I thought that the solution, especially in the kind of heavy space were more general back then. You could use lots of different technologies to solve many different kinds of problems. And after studying that for two years with literally dozens of experts in years of time at IIC, I don't think that's true anymore.

Stan Schneider: I think the connectivity technologies, as an example are very different and the problems they solve are just so different that you really can't compare them and the real problem is confusion. So I feel a little less confused than I did then. I won't say a lot less but I think the market in general still is plagued by confusion. So I wrote this book, partially new book, the subtitle is "Clarifying the Industrial IoT." It's all trying to address the plague of confusion and try to make it a little bit more understandable because confusion just stops everything cold.

[5:02] The story behind the title, “The Rise of the Robot Overlords”

Cameron Emery: And tell us what you mean by "The Rise of the Robot Overlords." Is this like zombie apocalypse or something we need to prepare for?

Stan Schneider: No. I mean, it's actually a true story. My kid at 14 at the time, he's 16 now, came home from school with a not so great report card. And I'm a parent, you don't like that. And so I said, "What do you want to do with your life?" And he looked up at me and to our dog. He looked down to the dog sleeping on the carpet and said, "Dad, I want to be a pet of the robot overlords, which at the time, "What do you mean? What a ridiculous ambition."

Stan Schneider: But I figured out and trying to argue with him, "Why do you want to be a pet of the robot overlords." But whatever, he got the robot overlords from his big brother who was playing some game or something that had that in it. But trying to argue why he didn't want to be a pet of the robot overlord was really hard because I do think that intelligent machines are getting so much better so fast and he's 14.

Stan Schneider: By the time he's 44 or 54 in the prime years of his career, he'd be foolish not to have a career that takes into account the idea that there's going to be all these very intelligent capable systems around. That's what makes ... everybody does well, that sort of projects the future of technology and that's a great prediction. So is said, you know, eventually I said, "Well, okay, you want to be a pet of the robot, I can't think of any good reason not to be. It's probably that's a great career ambition. But you want to be a good pet and you got to do well in school to be a good pet." It was a more convincing argument than I started with but, you know, he's a teenager, what do you want? And I hope he doesn't listen to this. If it shows up on Reddit, he will.

[6:47] How this advancement in technology will impact our economy - from how we commute to how we are treated by a doctor

Cameron Emery: And I've heard you talk about the implications of this advancement in technology from an economic standpoint, from different standpoints. Can you talk a little bit about that and what the future looks like?

Stan Schneider: Yeah. So first of all, I think the robot overlords are not evil, and they're certainly not the zombie apocalypse. They're more like intelligent beneficial things. Most of it's going to make a huge difference. So I started out with my story of crashing cars and being disappointed with the ability for technology. And the technologies in automotive in the last 20 or 30 years are incredible.

Stan Schneider: I mean, if you actually look at what has gotten better, we've got multi-stage ... and we had airbags back then. Multi-stage airbags, side impact airbags, and crumple zone, and intelligent stability control, and anti-lock brakes, and political things like anti-drunk driving laws, and distraction laws, and on and on and on. And every one of them, if you look at the statistics, has some meaningful cause of problems on the highway. And all of them together only add up to a small percentage of the actual cause of problems because the cause of problems, I hate to say it, 94% of all collisions are caused by you. And autonomous cars at 1.0 is already a better driver than you are.

Cameron Emery: Just to clarify, you mean all humans, not just me.

Stan Schneider: No, I mean, you, the plural you. But 1.0 will be a better driver than you are and 2.0 will be a better driver than I am. And I like that joke because everybody thinks they are better than the average driver. If often give talks and use that, ask people to raise their hand if they think they are worse than the average driver.

Stan Schneider: And surprisingly, there's usually a couple, three that do. But 50% of people are worse than average drivers. That I can prove, if their drivers. And if you have a ticket in the last 20 years, you're a worse than average driver. I think that's the statistic I can't back up but it's something like that. Most drivers don't have a ticket, half or something don't have a ticket in the last 20 years.

Stan Schneider: But you know, it needs to be fixed. That is going to get better. And you think, well, okay, that's the autonomous driving is going to get rid of a lot of the collisions. I do believe that's going to happen. But it's not just that. If you look at medical systems, errors in hospital are hugely problematic. Third leading cause of death in the United States.

Stan Schneider: Everybody knows renewables are really a great future for the power grid but they just aren't manageable. They change too fast for today's stupid systems. You've heard of the smart grid. We don't have a smart grid. We have this stupid grid and the stupid grid can't deal with renewables. They change their output too fast. They're what's called dirty power. So you can't really have that much of it and really expect the grid to be reliable anymore.

Stan Schneider: But smart, intelligent things, the robot overlords can make all of those things better and many, many other things. If you actually look at what RTI does, almost all of our applications are taking some kind of intelligence to make it smarter, connecting it to physics, speed, sensors, and actuators, and things that you might call a robot, if you want to call it that.

Stan Schneider: Some of them are obvious robots like a medical robot. But some of them might not be quite so obvious robots like an automatic grid balancing algorithm that can turn on and off the gates in a hydropower dam and thereby balance the grid faster than people could do it or groups of people could do it. That really also is a robot. It doesn't look like a robot. It looks like this big massive concrete structure but it is autonomously able to do things with intelligence that wouldn't be easy to do for people to do.

Stan Schneider: And that kind of technology can make so many things better. It's hard to list them. It's just on, and on, and on, in transportation, in medical, in drilling for oil, in managing underwater things so we don't have another deepwater horizon problem in controlling quality of water and quality of life in 200 different areas. It's just an immense opportunity and it's great to be part of that. So that's the robot overlords.

Stan Schneider: I can keep going. You also asked about the impact on employment. Everybody's worried. Actually, I got to get a hold of this presentation. I saw a great presentation with a list of all the things that were going to put everybody out of work. One of them I remember was it had a picture of an elevator with an operator in it.

Stan Schneider: And the quote from somebody, it's like 1890 or something, it said, "You'd be crazy to get into an elevator without an operator in it." And when they have automated elevators, it's going to put thousands and thousands of people out of work. And an automobile was supposed to put everybody out of work, and computers were going to put everybody out of work.

Stan Schneider: Every technology that comes along is going to put everybody out of work. And it's actually been true if you look at what computers have done, it's like put a lot of travel agency, you go to an airport, there used to be all these people checking people in. Now it's just kiosks. There's not so many people in the horse industry anymore. It's been wiped out.

Stan Schneider: But that doesn't mean everybody's out of work, they're just doing something else. "But what are they gonna do?", is a completely unanswerable question. Even if I knew, I couldn't explain it to you anymore than you could explain to me when I was in high school, what a backend service engineer does at Facebook. 'Cause there was no network, there was no internet, there was no social media. You could never explain that, right? It's just something that you have to see how it goes.

Stan Schneider: I don't think humans are in any immediate danger of being obsolete. I know a lot of other people, like Bill Gates and Elon Musk, are saying artificial intelligence will put everybody out of work. I think that's way out there. Far enough out that maybe your kid's kids should worry about it, but probably not. If we're really out of work and we have overlords, we can be pets. It's not so bad. My dog's pretty happy.

Cameron Emery: And let's talk more about autonomous vehicles or car bots, as you call them. How'd you come up with that name by the way?

Stan Schneider: Honestly, it drove me nuts. Autonomous vehicles, it's just too many syllables. You know me, I hate extra syllables. I think there are times when you have to put commas into things, but the VP style guide says not to. But syllables always cause things to be harder to understand. So autonomous vehicles is okay, but it's a long mouthful to say. Self-driving cars is horrible. That's just like a horseless carriage. As soon as the technology proves itself at all, who's gonna call a car of today a horseless carriage? I actually sat down and said, "I need something short. Can't be more than two syllables." I took all the syllables, and I was just trying to procrastinate one day, I worked on all the combinations. Car bot came out. I said, "Okay, I'll call it car bots." I've been trying to push that ever since. Not necessarily successfully. I hear a lot of car companies calling it just robots, or robot cars.

[14:00] Why autonomous vehicles and robo taxis will be available for use sooner than you think

Cameron Emery: And I know you talk about them a lot in the ebook. You have that whole section on car bots, or autonomous vehicles, as an example of this type of technology. Why did you choose to feature autonomous vehicles as the main application there? What are the highlights people should take away from that section?

Stan Schneider: Three reasons. First of all, everybody understands how a car works and what it has to do. It's just not true for the power grid or ventilator respirator system in a hospital. So everybody sort of understands what the problem is. Everybody understands intuitively how hard that problem is and if you're really gonna do it autonomously, what the challenge is. Everybody understands why it's valuable. It's pretty easy to do. And it's a hot market, and lots of interest, and tons of money flowing into it, on the cusp of being really valuable. I think you're gonna see really usable car bots out there really soon. A year or two years. They'll be expensive, there'll be robo taxis, not something you can buy. But they'll be out there in volume not long at all from now. And flying ones aren't far behind. Simpler, less intelligent ones that can do what's called Level Three autonomy, which is on a freeway, like what Tesla has, only a little more autonomous, will also be out there. You can buy those, they'll probably be cheap enough to buy. Already out there in a lot of ways.

[15:31] How do you best identify the best solution for a certain company?

Cameron Emery: Right. So let's get into what I would call the meat of your ebook, where you talk about the guide to IOT connectivity. You talked about it a little bit at the beginning. It feels like everyday we hear of a new technology that's connecting different devices and systems in the IOT and industrial IOT. So how do you approach this topic to help companies find the right solution? Can you go through what you cover in the ebook in that section?

Stan Schneider: Well first of all, I think the IOT is just humongously big. It's the future of all technology really, so you can't talk about it as a single thing. I think there's really three categories of application, I call them spheres of applications in the book. I mean, they're whole universes of applications. They really don't have a lot to do with each other today. They are device monitoring, which when I think of any connectivities, the simplest has a single device, typically talking to a single cloud service, and that's all it does. The entire consumer internet of things fits into that, so it's a very big sphere. So nest thermostats, and ring doorbells, smart locks for your house, fit-bits, and everything you could go buy in a store that has intelligence in it that people call the internet of things. They're already single devices talking to a single cloud service. For the simple reason, you don't have a lot of reasons for the devices to talk to each other. Your fit-bit doesn't need to open your door so you can get in. Maybe someday that would make sense, but it's just not a driving application.

Stan Schneider: Industrial has those things too. They're usually for things like predictive maintenance, where you got some motor and you don't want it to fail. You want to predict when it's gonna fail so you can send a service person there to fix it ahead of time. So it's gonna have some kind of vibration sensors or acoustic sensors or heat sensors in it and that's gonna go up to the cloud service and it's gonna analyze everything and decide, "Hey, you need to fix that motor in your air conditioner before you take out the entire building's air conditioner for a week." So go replace that.

Stan Schneider: But from my point of view, RTI's point of view, we aren't that interested in it, it's just not a hard enough connectivity problem. There's a whole class of technology to do. It's a hard problem, don't get me wrong. There are lots of classes of technology. There's analytics, connectivity, to get to the cloud, and cloud IT platforms. There's over 400 IoT platforms. They're all very different. Some of them live in completely different spaces.

Stan Schneider: A second class, which is really exciting to a lot of the industrial space because it immediately impacts opex without changing opex operational expenses, makes things more efficient without changing anything fundamental inside it. That's like you take a planter in a big oil pipeline, you put sensors all over it, and you collect all that data, and you get it up to the cloud, and you run it through some analytics and figure out that, "Hey, I could be generating more electricity on this plant if I ran these parameters a little differently" or "I could more money for my plant if I ran the curing oven inside of it at 3 p.m. when the power's cheaper than if I ran it at 10 a.m. when the power's more expensive."

Stan Schneider: You can optimize what's going on in the system based on all this data analysis. And typically, all that data flows one way. It has a lot of sensors that are all related to each other. Not a lot of actuation or control or anything flowing back down. It's mostly just analyzing it and maybe people changing how it works, even changing what time they run the shifts or something. We call that analytic optimization. It's a huge class of things too.

Stan Schneider: And the third one, which I think is much more exciting frankly, we call it edge autonomy. Not a big fan of the word edge, but it does get the idea that it's not about the cloud. It's about lots of different things outside of a data center doing something smart. So autonomous cars, an obvious example. But all the things I've been talking about, smart medical systems, smart power systems, being able to do autonomous, automatic drilling for oil and thereby not taking the risk of damaging the water table, doing it more efficiently, going down and checking for problems with the blowout preventer, which is what caused the deepwater horizon problem. You can analyze that. But all these things require lots of different pieces, all working together, typically in real time. Real time means fast enough to affect the real world. That, we call edge autonomy. That's the really smart systems out there.

Stan Schneider: Over time, these things sort of grow together I think. But we're early, early, early decades of this whole evolution. Smart things are gonna be around as long or longer than electricity's still finding applications for them. We still find new applications for electricity every day, like that iPhone over there. That's not that old of a new application for electricity. It's interesting stuff.

Cameron Emery: And so what's your approach for how companies in those different spheres should select their connectivity solution?

Stan Schneider: So connectivity solutions come in lots of different flavors. The flavors are so different, you can't mix them together. You can't take a wine and mix it with a beer and mix it with 7-Up and expect it to be, well, maybe 7-Up you could.

Cameron Emery: Why not?

Stan Schneider: You can't mix these things together and expect something good to come out of them 'cause they're actually quite different. What we found is, the connectivity solutions target applications in vastly different ways. And they're so different, I can ask a few really simple questions and very quickly put most applications, by most, maybe 80, 90% of applications, into one of the spheres. You're done very quick.

Stan Schneider: And they're questions like, "Do you know what ICT stands for?", which is an entire industry. Communications Technology, it's the telecom. If you don't know what it stands for, you probably shouldn't be using the architecture to design for telecom. That's called one M to M. "Do you know what a work cell is?" We're in the DDS space. We have thousands of projects out there. I'll ask users to Google me, I ask people in the room if they've ever heard of a work cell. A couple of them that are on the borders of working with these things have heard of it. 99% are more of DDS applications don't go into factory work. OPCUA, people think they're similar, but 99% of them are in work cells or something close to work cell. Almost everybody in that world can tell you what a work cell. A work cell, by the way, is a little factory thing where you gotta put a bunch of stuff together with some conveyor belts and whatever. It's where you would sit there, if you were a human, and just assemble one little part of the thing. It's how all discrete manufacturing is built out of work cells.

Stan Schneider: So you answer just a few questions like that, you can put yourself into "I belong in this galaxy, this big chunk of the world", and then you can figure out if it's really gonna work for you. Most applications will work with the current standard, but I don't think we have a shortage of standards. We make sure you understand the work they do. And eventually, they need to work together in the IIC to just make them all work together much better, or have it designed to have them work together, which we're not implementing.

[23:07] How should companies who are developing large, Industrial IoT systems handle security?

Cameron Emery: So let's talk about security. I know that's another hot topic in the IoT space. You also discuss it in your ebook. How do you recommend that companies who are developing industrial IoT systems handle security?

Stan Schneider: My experience is security's not a change driver. And the security people are gonna be mad at me for that statement. What I mean by that is, if you look at a real system that is running today, it's got an architecture, it's got lots of stuff going on in it. If you have to change that architecture to get better security, you can make the argument that, "Oh, it's gonna be attacked. It could blow up. All these kinds of things could happen to it." But because those things hopefully haven't happened and may never, until they really do happen, it's not a good enough argument to see that happen.

Stan Schneider: On the other hand, all these other things I've been talking about, are very much change drivers. Autonomy in cars, fixing the medical error problems, integrating renewables into the power grid, those are change drivers, and nobody is going to implement those things without security.

Stan Schneider: Security is very much a change gate. You can't do these new applications without having the security. Everything I talked about has to be secure. And I actually think, despite all of the people worrying that the security connecting things to the internet opens up all sorts of attack vectors and now you're online, you can be hacked.

Stan Schneider: But nobody does that without doing a security audit and there's just ... It's shocking if you go talk to today's plants and power systems and stuff. They just aren't very sophisticated in security. So the act of getting online forces a thought about security much deeper than they have had in the previous decades. So I actually think security's getting better, not worse.

Stan Schneider: I do think once you choose an architecture, you need to go make sure that architecture's secure. Security should be part of the architecture, not a bolt onto the architecture. I'm a real big fan of data centricity. Data centricity is an incredible technology. Data centricity databases are data-centric storage.

Stan Schneider: The entire planet runs on databases today. There's not a company or government or significant application that doesn't have a database in it somewhere because it allows you to have a data-centric view of the world where you are working with a database. Even though there might be five thousand other people or applications working that database, you don't care about that. You just see the data.

Stan Schneider: DDS and RTI's technology, we call it data bus, it's a similar concept except instead of a database is obviously stored information. You can store the part numbers for the cars or the HR information for your employees or whatever. A data bus is about finding data in the future and finding it fast enough you can do something about it.

Stan Schneider: So if I'm a autonomous vehicle, be like I'm going to find everything that's going to maybe hit me in the next half a second or even I'm going to find sensor values to balance this wind-farm phased across all the different wind turbines in a hundredth of a second or even faster than that. It can find exactly the right information, but it's a future thing, just looking for events that might happen in the future or even just repetitive things in the future. It's a really powerful concept.

Stan Schneider: But if you can secure that, just like you can secure a data base ... If you use a data base, I mean you're probably using a data base right now. I don't know where you're recording this, but people are very used to going online and using a data base and expecting ... You just assume it's secure, right? You don't worry about whether your access, your customer data base on an oracle somewhere in SalesForce is going to be accessible by somebody else because they hacked it.

Stan Schneider: And that's because that's really hard to do, because Oracle, our sales force, has built that security right into the data base and it's a fundamental part of the data base, and it's actually not easy to hack, because usually you have to understand the data base you're hacking in order to even attack it. We have the same kind of features with the industrial real-world things.

Stan Schneider: Very difficult to attack a data-centric system without an awful lot of very-deep knowledge, and even if you do, you're going to be able to attack one little part of the data flow, and some of these systems have ... you know, one system with 10 million independent data flows.

Stan Schneider: You aren't going to hack 10 million things. You can hack a few of them, maybe you can find something critical, but it's a lot harder than just hacking into a network and now taking over that network and logging in and being root on lots of machines or something.

Stan Schneider: So, some of the technologies they actually use for the architectures that are changing the way the world work are naturally protectable with integrated security, and those things are really, I think, that's the way to go with security. DDS security, for're not a programmer. It doesn't even an API...

Cameron Emery: Some of our listeners are ...

Stan Schneider: So, yeah. So it doesn't even have an API, so it's not like you have to write a lot of code to implement security. There's no API, there's no code to write. You don't even get to write code. You do have to have certificates and provisional certificates and all that kind of stuff, but it handles all of that and protects the data itself, rather than the networks or the processors. I'm not saying we don't also need to protect the networks and the processors and the firewalls. I mean, absolutely you want to have multiple layers of security, called security in-depth, but we can offer a level of security that is really hard to do with more traditional techniques. So I think that's really powerful.

[29:04] Why the quality-of-life increases as technology gets better.

Cameron Emery: If there was one thing that you wanted people to take away from reading your eBook, what would it be?

Stan Schneider: Maybe the last chapter. Historians will look back at our time and wonder how we got by without smart things. I mean, I don't know when the last time you wondered how people got by without electricity or cars or motors. It's just part of everyday life. It's unbelievable, positive change to the quality-of-life of people to have these really base technologies.

Stan Schneider: Smart things really are that kind of a technology that we just haven't had the capability of doing 20 years ago, 10 years ago, even five years ago. Even today, we really have very, very primitive, smart things. But they're a huge change, the ways things work, and the reason for the robot overlords, the robot overlords are beneficial overlords. They're going to make the world better.

Stan Schneider: I mean, it starts out in the book, if you have kids or you're about to have kids, your kids are not going to drive, they are not going to write, they're not going to compose music, unless they won't have to. Not like I'm very good at composing music anyway, but there's already intelligent systems that are capable of, at least, challenging most humans' capabilities in those areas. Maybe not the brilliant people, but with few exceptions, all of those things are going to be able to ... you know, we're going to be able to do those with technologies at levels that are very, very capable.

Stan Schneider: So your kids will live in a world where they won't drive and maybe not have to write or compose music, but they'll be in a word that's safer and healthier and cleaner and much more efficient. And history shows, as technology gets better, the quality-of-life goes up in general. I think we've come a long ways in the last 500 years, and the next 500 years is going to be amazing. The next five years is going to be amazing.

[31:17] Will Stan write a third eBook?

Cameron Emery: Can't wait. Okay, last question, Stan. Do you have any plans for a third eBook?

Stan Schneider: My marketing people won't let me stop writing. I love writing, so I'll admit it. Sure, I'll do another eBook. I mean, usually I write a lot of papers. My eBooks are really compendiums, I suppose, of the papers I've written over the last year or so, and it always takes me a lot longer to get it done than I thought, but sure. I need to go out and start finding other things. Lots of stuff to write about out there.

Stan Schneider: It's just an incredible world of new applications. I'd probably write one on all the new kinds of applications we're seeing out there. It's just shocking everyday. 2020 we're going to have flying robo-taxis. It actually is possible, at least in tests. Autonomous cars are going to be everywhere, hyper loops, medical systems that are vastly more efficient, robotics that can find things in your body that don't require cutting you open.

Stan Schneider: It's really an amazing moment in history that we live in. There's always more and more stuff going on, but it just seems like there's a lot more going on right now than there was 10 years ago or 20 years ago. It's just a real fascinating instant in time. So I'll find something to write about.

Cameron Emery: Excellent. So I think that's it. Thank you very much for your time, Stan.
Stan Schneider: Thank you.

Steven Onzo: Thanks for listening to this episode of the Connext Podcast. Stay tuned for part two of our interview with Sander Mertens, where we continue our discussion on performance and its relation to statistics. Also, look after for a twist at the end of the episode where we turn the tables and interview the host. If you have any questions or suggestions for future interviews, please be sure to reach out to us, either on social media or at Thanks and have a great day.


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