Cloud computing is part of society’s evolution into a ‘heart-based’ society, says BBC Click journalist Kate Russell.

Russell is the tech show’s longest-running reporter, having presented for over 12 years, and is also an author and avid gamer.

She published her book ‘Working in the Cloud’ in 2013 and will be talking about the technology at UKFast’s Cloud UK Live event in Manchester from 12.30pm today. You can sign up for free here. 

“Civilisation has evolved and gone from a tool-based society, using tools and hands, to an age of digital which went into head-based work - and now we’re evolving into a heart-based society,” she told BusinessCloud.

“A lot of the skills we need now are not programming. The tools we need are established and a lot is done by computers and AI, things like analysing algorithms and natural language processing.

“This allows us as humans to interface with the machines, which do the hand stuff, and computers, which do the head stuff, so now we’re evolving to do a lot of the heart stuff.

“We want passion and empathy and we ask ‘how do we use this?’ It’s just a part of evolution.

“In the same way humans picked up tools for the first time or created fire or the motorcar, this evolution from computers into cloud into AI into Big Data, that’s evolved us to the next level.

“When anthropologists look back in a million years they’ll say this was a step in the evolutionary process.”

Russell got into gaming in 1984 when she picked up her brother’s BBC Micro. She was at an all-girls school and struggled to settle into an institution that was trying to teach her cooking and embroidery.

“I didn’t really get education or what they were trying to teach me and why, but when I played with my brother’s computer I just got really interested,” she said.

Her life goal was to write a book though, and following several decades as a tech journalist she got the idea for Working in the Cloud – which she calls an ‘instruction manual for people who know nothing about the internet’ – while reviewing websites and apps for the BBC.

“I’d seen such opportunities for particularly small businesses and entrepreneurs to jumpstart their business at a low cost,” she said.

“They could compete with big established companies by using cloud resources and online tools, many of which were free, or at least had flexible subscription models so they could try an expansion.

"Then if it didn’t work they aren’t lumbered with a load of legacy hardware infrastructure that then would drag them under.

“There were so many huge opportunities that I thought 'this is my opportunity to get published'.

“I’ve still got the letter pinned up on my wall from 2012 when Crimson Publishing gave me a contract to write the book.

“Of course, what was I thinking writing about cloud on paper? Because now it’s quaintly out of date! A lot of the ideas and principles and tools in it often are no longer relevant, though some are still really relevant and still work.”

Cloud UK Live, which is run by Manchester-based hosting company UKFast, will run from 12.30-5pm today with a second event in London on 14th March - book here.

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