Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and conversational interfaces are all affecting the way web design happens. It was a website development and design system that was powered by artificial intelligence. The idea was a platform where site modules and other interaction patterns design themselves without the need of a designer. Conversational interfaces would engage the user to supply information and make decisions about the design of the website is created, but the results did not live up to the hype. The resulting sites were a disaster. The good news in the accident? Designer jobs will remain safe for the foreseeable future.

Smarter Design Systems

Design systems are a series of patterns, modules, and elements that, taken together, build the design language of a brand or a product. Start-ups and enterprises alike trust their design systems to keep their products consistent for users. Adding a layer of intelligence to these systems to analyze how users interact with each element will help identify which parts work best for each function. With AI and machine learning, these intelligence layers learn and determine what things are working and what aren’t. It will help to optimize design systems to deliver better results. Some web design companies are doing precisely that. Squarespace and Wix embed AI into their workflows to guide designers on more mundane design decisions. We can expect to see more AI-driven tools embedded within design processes.

Creativity versus Task Automation

Design is more complicated than other jobs that are task-driven and repetitive. These repetitive types of jobs are the ones that are most likely to be replaced by robots. As for design, it requires the ability to assess information within different contexts, to establish a framework for design, as well as an empathy for other users. Robots are not sophisticated enough at this time to successfully perform jobs that require that kind of perspective, insight, and creativity. In the future, they will be well suited to automating repetitive tasks and making designers more efficient.

What we will see in the next several years

We can expect to see designers and robots working together to create all sorts of new opportunities. One area where robots could benefit designers is automating specific tasks like cropping assets, color correcting photos, and resizing images. AI is perfect for automating many of these tedious, repetitive tasks associated with a designer’s role.

Everyone Will Become A Designer

Most design jobs today are defined by creative and social intelligence. The skill sets associated with these job titles require problem framing, creative problem solving, empathy, negotiation skills, and persuasion. One of the most significant expected impacts of AI will be to make everyone a designer. There will be a push for all individuals to increase their employability by developing their creativity and social intelligence skills. These skills will no longer be limited to designers only. Instead of just training traditional creative occupations in design thinking techniques, all rules will be trained to use the skills traditionally reserved for design and original positions. Designers will need to have additional knowledge and expertise. Expertise should be in the fields of multidisciplinary contexts that will bring that extra value to the job roles that companies look to employ. In turn, it could lead to exotic specializations. There are already examples of this trend. The Seattle mayor’s office has created an innovation team tasked with finding solutions to some of Seattle’s most immediate issues and concerns. The group includes designers and design strategists and embraces human-centered design as a philosophy to guide their work. A new integrated design and management program at MIT is yet another example of this trend. Even medical schools are beginning to train future physicians in design thinking. Design is taking on a much broader role and significance in work processes as well as opening up new opportunities for educators across different disciplines to include creative intelligence training and human-centered design as part of their courses and curricula.

Alto9 is a Cloud solutions firm created to help customers migrate to, and make the most of Amazon Web Services. Cloud computing is a rapidly changing paradigm that requires a specialized focus, and our Amazon Certified engineers have the depth of experience and know-how to make sure your Cloud infrastructure runs efficiently, securely, and scales with you as your business grows.

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Jun 22 21
Christina Zumwalt

Over the last year, there were dramatic shifts in technology due to a global pandemic that shut down the world. 2020 became a year of shifting things from working in offices and other types of buildings to working virtually accessing all technology from the comfort of your own dwellings. Some of the most significant changes over 2020 included edge AI, 5G, and automated artificial intelligence, and the momentum for next-gen talent management and technology supporting sustainability. Some of the top trends set to have a significant impact on 2021 include AI on the edge, 5G ushering in Industry 4.0, automated AI helping to power the financial industry, and cognitive science and gamification helping to win the war for talent. Here are a few of the leading technology trends for 2021.


AI in Finance


There is expected to be an 86% increase in AI investments by 2025 by The Economist Intelligence Unit. For AI to be used to its full potential, employees with little to no background would need to be able to use it to increase their operational performance. Due to there being employees involved that do not know what AI is, there needs to be AI platforms that will allow business employees to quickly build models, easily understand and trust the product’s output, and make decisions with confidence. All these features are critical in the development of AI on a bigger scale.


Cybersecurity


The increase of more people working remotely has created a huge opportunity for cybercriminals to increase the number of attacks. One of the easiest ways cybercriminals are hacking is through compromising a company’s active directory infrastructure. After hacking the active directory, the criminal could take over a CEO’s phone, usurp their identity, and access confidential internal information. Alsid, a cybersecurity start-up, suggested that clients tailor security into their AD and invest in monitoring to be able to detect attacks in real-time and then investigate all breaches.


Healthcare Data Gold

There is expected to be a market for healthcare big data reaching nearly $70 billion by 2025, which is almost six times the 2016 value of $11.5 billion. This acceleration of health data being collected can help leverage opportunities for groundbreaking digital capabilities, such as AI, that can help improve patients’ treatment. An application developed using AI has led to a substantial decrease in cutting healing times from years to months and the unnecessary use of antibiotics in wounds that have been classified as hard-to-heal.
2020 helped to jump-start new technology trends, and it should improve greatly in 2021. There are going to be a ton of new trends that will change technology as we know it.

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Jun 14 21
Christina Zumwalt

Quantum computing is the quantum theory, where traditional laws of physics do not apply and involve the use of atomic and subatomic particles. The exciting thing about these particles is that they behave in unexpected ways. These particles can exist in multiple states at the same time. That is the underlying power that quantum computing will harness. Instead of using the traditional bits that classical computing utilizes, quantum computing will use qubits of quantum bits. What is the difference? It is easiest to think about this with an image. If you have a globe or sphere, a bit can exist at one of the two poles of the field. A qubit, on the other hand, can exist at any point on the sphere. The result of this is that a quantum computer using qubits will be able to store and process enormous amounts of data and information a million or more times faster using less energy than a classical computer.

This research represents the most recent step towards the development of a quantum computer. A quantum computer can be defined as an ultra-powerful machine that could solve problems currently beyond the realm of traditional networks. For example, your desktop PC would struggle to answer the following question: “If a salesman has lots of places to visit, what is the quickest route?” Traditional computing can answer this question for a certain number of cities, but if I wanted to add more cities, it would get much harder, very quickly. Light is already used to transmit data very fast over long distances via fiber optic cables. With this discovery, it may be possible to manipulate these photons and enable data distribution in much more powerful ways. The research team is now trying to manipulate photons in ways beyond attraction. The next test will be repulsion, where they slam photons into each other and scatter. These researchers are exploring uncharted territory. They do not know what will happen with distaste. It may be that they form a regular pattern, like a crystal of light, or something different may happen.

The impacts of quantum computing will undoubtedly change our world because there will be applications for this technology in every industry. It is safe to assume quantum computing will open the door to some extraordinary possibilities when you consider qubits can process millions of calculations all in the exact moment. The impacts will be game-changing across industries.

The race is on to bring quantum computing to commercial scale, and the cloud will play a large role in how that happens. It will forever change how we think and interact with data and bring significant changes to how we do business. It is an incredibly exciting development. AWS, like IBM and Rigetti, also have their quantum computing cloud called QC2 that features the first production-ready quantum computer. AWS invites you to try it to solve certain types of math and logic problems at a speed that will take your breath away. The future is here.

It’s difficult to predict how quantum computing will change our world, but what we do know is that it will be a game-changer for every industry you can imagine. It will significantly impact the way we do business, from inventing new medicine and materials, safeguarding our data, exploring space, and predicting weather events and climate change. Not surprisingly, some of the world’s most influential companies like IBM and Google and world governments are investing in quantum computing technology. They are expecting quantum computing to change our society because it will allow us to solve problems and reach levels of efficiencies that aren’t possible today.

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Jun 8 21
Christina Zumwalt

Content management systems are more and more important. They need open and nimble platforms to engage with their customers and stakeholders in more relevant ways to stay competitive and exceed customer expectations.

Companies are highly aware of the need to support personalized content experiences that are truly engaging, but most IT operating models were designed to optimize back-office efficiency. With the evolution of the cloud and improvements in security, the cloud is now the perfect solution for content management.

There is no industry or job where content or documents are not used. Many believe knowledged workers are the primary individuals who create and consume content, but the reality is everyone uses documents in some form. Employees in all classes need access to manuals and guides, whether they are physical paper or digital formats.

Enterprise content management is a term that employees in technical, security, and information management-focused roles use. Content can be in the form of a document or digital form shared via a collaborative workspace. Content of all types drives many of our critical business activities. Content is the primary means for communication, collaboration, decision-making. Employees need to have relevant content readily available, and they need that content to be accurate and trustworthy. They also need to what content they can share and what content must remain confidential. Forrester describes Enterprise content management as “a set of strategies and technologies that help information workers find, use, and analyze digital information, from any place, at any time, within the guard rails of corporate policies.”

Enterprise content management has been around for about a quarter-century. Over the decades, vendors and tools have evolved and changed, but right now, we are in one of the more disruptive periods of the ECM market evolution. The dominant architecture and deployment model for on-premises, complex ECM suites are transitioning to flexible platforms, specifically designed to deliver useful apps to meet specific needs. Newer offerings and newer vendors have reimagined what the market needs and they have taken advantage of the flexibility, scalability, and continuous improvement opportunities that cloud services provide. ECM is transitioning to services-driven platforms that let designers deliver granular content apps that allow users to work the way they like, whether it is over the web, mobile, or even through another application like a CRM or online office productivity tool.

Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are having significant impacts on these content platforms. Intelligent content services from major cloud providers that offer automated image tagging, language translations, and voice-driven actions are exciting developments that are helping to solve some of the common obstacles that traditional ECM deployments have not been able to handle such as categorizing content at large scale, automating security or life cycle policy application and proactively recommending relevant content and subject matter experts before resorting to searching.

We are also starting to see some innovation in how content is created. Content is being broken down into components, and we now need to think about how to author and manage chunks that can be reused in other documents or exposed in other applications. Automation will play an even more significant role in the future when it comes to pulling information from structured systems or from static documents as a way to get the data to kick off a process. Content can live in the cloud indefinitely. Teams can collaborate simultaneously across time zones and business boundaries faster and more efficiently, leading to even greater process efficiencies in content management.

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Jun 3 21
Christina Zumwalt

When thinking about classic computers everything was done by binary coding using 1s and 0s. Quantum computing basing everything on calculations of probability of the objects state giving it the potential to process exponentially more data compared to classical computing. These operations are known as a qubit, and these states are undefined properties that have not been detected of an object. They do not have a clear position, and occur in a mixed ‘super position’, like a coin spinning in the air before it touches the ground.  

Quantum computing is based on quantum theory where traditional laws of physics do not apply and involves the use of atomic and subatomic particles. The interesting thing about these particles is that they behave in unexpected ways. These particles can exist in multiple states at the same time. That is the underlying power that quantum computing will harness. Instead of using the traditional bits that classical computing utilizes quantum computing will use qubits of quantum bits. What is the difference? It is easiest to think about this with an image. If you have a globe or sphere a bit can exist at one of the two poles of the sphere. A qubit on the other hand can exist at any point on the sphere. The result of this is that a quantum computer using qubits will be able to store and process enormous amounts of data and information a million or more times faster using less energy than a classical computer. 

Why the hurry to develop quantum computers? Well, according to a report by the Semiconductor Industry Association we will not be able to power all the computers around the world by 2040 which is no longer far into the future. So, there is pressure to produce quantum computers for commercial consumption. 

The impacts of quantum computing will no doubt change our world because there will be applications for this technology in every industry. It is safe to assume quantum computing will open the door to some extraordinary possibilities when you consider qubits have the capability to process millions of calculations all in the same moment.  The impacts will be game-changing across industries. 

IBM and Rigetti already have quantum computers and allow users access to their quantum computers in the cloud by using IBM’s Q experience or the Rigetti Forest API. Users can test and develop their quantum programs on simulator and run them on the quantum computers in the cloud. 

The race is on to bring quantum computing to commercial scale and the cloud will play a large roll in how that happens.  It will forever change the way we think and interact with data and bring big changes to way in which we do business. It is an incredibly exciting development. AWS like IBM and Rigetti also has their own quantum compute cloud called QC2 that features the first production-ready quantum computer. AWS invites you to try it to solve certain types of math and logic problems at a speed that will take your breath away. The future is here.

Feb 5 21
Christina Zumwalt

Containers in the cloud enhance portability making it easier or so they would like you to think. There is another side to this story. It takes some specific knowledge of the processes and the underlying technology that makes cloud-to-cloud migration using containers a lower-effort and lower-risk endeavor. Because the required skills and best practices aren’t as available as they should be, organizations have struggled to catch up.

What Is a Container and How do They Work

Containers break up applications into smaller packages of code. Each is bundled with all the basic system software that apps need to operate independently of whichever server is playing the role of host. The portability of moving code and applications independently is the big selling point of containers. Containers eliminate the need for programmers to rewrite the code for each new operating system and cloud platform. Containers allow those applications to scale, as well as set

Sounds great right? Absolutely, but even with all the upsides, there are a few downsides you need to consider. There are some limitations and impediments to using containers in the public and private clouds.

Container Security Boundaries and Risks

Containers inherently come with security limitations. Many security admins inside of an enterprise don’t understand all the details and risks of containers so it is important to ensure your IT personnel that will work with containers understand them fully before you implement this technology. Although there have not been any major container security breaches, hackers are becoming smarter and more knowledgeable about using containers, and these sorts of attacks will increase. With increased desire and need for easier portability using containers, we could also be making our containerized applications more vulnerable.

Containers or VMs?

When thinking of portability, you should consider containers, but also think about the differences beween using containers or using VMs. Virtual Machines are self-contained. Each VM has a unique operating system (OS), drivers, and application components. You can migrate VMs to any other system, as long as there is a compatible hypervisor available. Unlike Vms, containers are very different. They run on top of the physical OS, and they share much of the underlying OS kernel, along with many libraries and binaries. This means they are more tightly

Containers Can Be Messy

Moving containers to the cloud can create a mess. Because containers can be launched very quickly they can consume more cloud resources than necessary without your IT personnel understanding why that is happening. One thing you can do to avoid creating this problem is to have an orderly shutdown of containers you are no longer using. Often, developers launch container-based applications and then forget to go back later to scale the number of containers, locking the resources until they do.

Paving The Way

The path to cloud portability will be paved by containers. Even so, one must remember that containers are no panacea for cloud portability. There are limitations when it comes to security, application types, and deployment. Most public and private cloud providers are container friendly. With each release of cloud services, cloud developers have more reasons to leverage containers for portable application development in the cloud.

The question for containers is not whether or not to utilize them but rather how to best make use of the technology. Many use containers for portability and to protect themselves against cloud computing vendor lock-in. The important thing to understand is that learning about how to use containers most effectively takes time and effort, but as long as you commit to providing that education you will be successful with this technology.

Jan 29 21
Christina Zumwalt

Although you may not realize it, most people are using cloud computing in one way or another every day. Using an online service to send an email, edit documents, play games, store pictures, watch movies and TV, or listen to music is utilizing the cloud. The first cloud computing services are a decade or so old, and companies from tiny startups to global corporations, government agencies to non-profits are embracing the technology for a variety of different reasons including; Creating new apps and services, storing, backing up, and recovering data, hosting websites and blogs, streaming audio and video, delivering software on demand and analyzing data for patterns and making predictions. Before making a move to the cloud, companies should understand the nuts and bolts of how cloud computing works, what benefits it can deliver, and the costs to run in the cloud.

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing services work a little differently, based on who the provider is. Most provide a user-friendly, browser-based dashboard that makes it easy for technology professionals and developers to add resources and manage their accounts. Some cloud services are also designed to work with REST APIs and a command-line interface (CLI), giving developers multiple options. Simply put, cloud computing is an arrangement between a provider and a customer that allows customer access to a server that remains under the control of the provider. Normally there is a recurring or monthly fee for these services. The customer can use the server in a variety of ways including as hardware on which programs run, or to store data. Using a server in this way is often referred to as IaaS. Others use the server as a platform on which to develop their own software (PaaS), and others use the server as a portal that accesses a service such as a payment portal for a customer or to process the customer’s data (SaaS).

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing can significantly reduce the investments an enterprise needs to make in hardware and software as well as the eliminating the need for on-site data centers and IT staff to manage the infrastructure, and that reduces utility, labor and overhead costs as well.

Cloud computing eliminates the need for ongoing IT tasks such as “racking and stacking,” setting up hardware and patching software. It makes your organization more productive and enables your IT personnel to focus on more important business goals.

Cloud computing provides an enterprise elastic scalability to meet the ever-changing IT requirements of your enterprise. You will always have the right amount of IT resources available for storage, computing power, and bandwidth whether your business is seasonal or steady.

The bigger cloud computing services run on a global network of secure datacenters. In addition, they are regularly upgraded to the latest generation of the fastest and most efficient computing hardware. This means improved performance, reduced latency, and the benefit of economies of scale.

Cloud computing makes business continuity and disaster recovery easier and less costly because data is mirrored to redundant sites on the cloud provider’s global network.

Since cloud computing services are self-serve and on-demand, you can provision vast amounts of computing resources on the fly-in minutes — no more worries over capacity planning.

Cloud Types

Cloud computing services are defined by three categories: IaaS-The rental of IT infrastructure that includes servers, virtual machines, networks, operating systems, and data storage from a cloud provider on a pay as you go basis.

PaaS– This includes cloud computing services that provide an on-demand environment that developers can utilize to develop, test, deliver, and manage software applications.

SaaS– cloud computing that provides a way to deliver software applications over the internet on-demand. Normally these cloud services are on a subscription basis. The provider hosts and manages the software application and the underlying infrastructure, including maintenance, upgrades, and software patches. Users will connect to the application using an internet browser.

Cloud Computing Deployments

Cloud computing can be deployed in different ways, and it is crucial to understand how the different deployments work in order to choose the right type or combination of cloud deployments that best fit your organizational needs.

Public Cloud

A cloud owned and operated by a third party provider. Computing resources, including servers and storage, are delivered over the internet. All of the components of the system, such as hardware, software, and any other supporting infrastructure are owned and managed by the third party cloud provider.

Private Cloud

Cloud resources that a single business or organization uses exclusively. The cloud can be physically located on a company’s on-site datacenter or hosted by a third party provider. The services and infrastructure would be maintained on a private network.

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud combines public and private clouds. The clouds are bound together by technology that allows data and applications to be shared. A hybrid cloud normally involves a firewall to enhance the security of data and applications moving between the two clouds. For many businesses, this is the best choice because the private cloud better protects sensitive data, and it offers greater flexibility and more deployment options.

Jan 26 21
Christina Zumwalt

Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and conversational interfaces are changing the way design happens. You may be familiar with the big announcement of an AI website builder called “The Grid” a few years ago. It was a website development and design system that was powered by artificial intelligence.  The idea was a platform where site modules and other interaction patterns design themselves, without the need of a designer. Conversational interfaces would engage the user to supply information and make decisions about the design of the website being created but the results did not live up to the hype.The resulting websites were basically a disaster. The good news in the disaster? Designer jobs will remain safe for the foreseeable future.

Creativity versus Task Automation

Design is more complex than other jobs that are task driven and repetitive in nature. These repetitive types of jobs are the ones that are most likely to be replaced by robots. As for design, it requires the ability to assess information within different contexts, to establish a context for a design, as well as an empathy for other users. Robots are not sophisticated enough at this time to successfully perform jobs that require that kind of perspective, empathy and creativity but they are well suited to automating repetitive tasks and making designers more efficient.

What we will see in the next several years

We can expect to see designers and robots working together to create all sorts of new opportunities. One area where robots could be very useful to designers is in automating certain tasks like cropping assets, color correcting photos and resizing images. Algorithms could take on simple tasks such as color matching. AI is perfect for automating many of these boring, repetitive tasks associated with a designer’s role.

Smarter Design Systems

Design systems are a series of patterns, modules and elements that taken together build the design language of a brand or a product. Start-ups and enterprises alike trust their design systems to keep their products consistent for users. The ability to add a layer of intelligence to these systems to analyze how users interact with each element will help identify which elements work best for each function. With AI and machine learning as these intelligence layers learn and identify what things are working and what aren’t it will help to optimize design systems to deliver better results. Some web design companies are doing exactly that. Website builders squarespace and Wix embed AI into their workflows to guide designers on more mundane design decisions and we can expect to see more and more AI driven tools embedded within design processes.

Everyone Will Become A Designer

Most design jobs today are defined by creative and social intelligence. The skill sets associated with these job titles require problem framing, creative problem solving, empathy, negotiation skills and persuasion. One of the biggest expected impacts of AI will be to make everyone a designer. There will be a push for all individuals to increase their employability by developing their creativity and social intelligence skills. These skills will no longer be limited to designers only. Instead of just training traditional creative occupations in design thinking techniques, all occupations will be trained to use the skills traditionally reserved for design and creative positions. Designers will need additional knowledge and expertise in multidisciplinary contexts in order to bring that extra value to the job roles that companies will be looking to employ. This in turn could lead to exotic specializations. There are already examples of this trend. The Seattle mayor’s office has created an innovation team tasked with finding solutions to some of Seattle’s most immediate issues and concerns. The team includes designers and design strategists and embraces human-centered design as a philosophy to guide their work. A new integrated design and management program at MIT is yet another example of this trend. Even medical schools are beginning to train future physicians in design thinking. Design is taking on a much broader role and significance in work processes as well as opening up new opportunities for educators across different disciplines to include creative intelligence training and human-centered design as part of their courses and curricula.

Alto9 is a Cloud solutions firm created to help customers migrate to, and make the most of Amazon Web Services. Cloud computing is a rapidly changing paradigm that requires a specialized focus, and our Amazon Certified engineers have the depth of experience and know-how to make sure your Cloud infrastructure runs efficiently, securely, and scales with you as your business grows.

Jan 22 21
Christina Zumwalt

The big question everyone is asking in the tech industry is what is to be expected for cloud computing in 2021? 2020 was revolutionary for cloud computing and infrastructure due to the conditions that a pandemic put the world in. We witnessed changes in digital transformation priorities to help mobilize workforces, facilitate collaboration, and ensure business continuity. This leads us to believe that 2021 can and will be just as great. Here are some things that are expected to change in 2021 in the technology sector.

Demand for Multi-Cloud and Hybrid Infrastructure Rising

There will be many assessments done at companies to evaluate where they are hosting certain workloads to optimize IT budgets and increase business agility and resilience. Within this next year there should be at least a 59% shift of organizations decreasing their on-premise infrastructure, with an increase into the public cloud. There is also an estimation that 66% are planning to expand their private cloud workloads. The biggest thing that organizations will be seeking is getting assistance in determining the right infrastructure, where applications and workloads are going to be best suited, and the tools that should be used to optimize those environments. Making the choice of a managed service provider, you want to make sure that there is an offering of data and applications that will be able to interact across environments with high performance and security requirements.

Cloud Adoption Corrections with Native Apps

Due to the pandemic, quite a large number of organizations have taken a quick-fix approach to cloud adoption to their businesses. This at first was the thing that was done, even though ill advised, has put organizations in a position of needing to seek more cloud functionality. There will now be a forefront of native cloud apps taking center stage. The technologies used will not be purpose built, to enable agility across the technology stack and allow organizations to scale the operations back, and then evolve and continue to digitize.

Sustainability

With 2020 being a year where most of the world went to working remotely unless completely unavoidable, we saw some huge changes in the environment. There has been substantial changes in the air quality, also the creating of a greener world. There has also be significate decreases in the amount of energy being used by at least 20% annually since 2010. These changes have set goals for there to be a huge increase in carbon neutrality in the next five years.

In 2021, the world is going to improve not only the environment, but also advancements in technology. Hopefully just as the changes we saw in 2020, we continue to huge changes in 2021 for the cloud computing technology.

Jan 19 21
Christina Zumwalt

Monday celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in celebration of an American civil rights leader. Martin Luther King, Jr was a great man and influencer. Here are some fun facts that you may not know about him.

  • King was the youngest person to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize
  • Martin sang in the choir at the movie premier Gone with the Wind
  • There are over 730 streets in the United States named after Martin Luther King, Jr
  • Mohandas Ghandi was one of his main influences
  • He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • His name listed on his birth certificate is Michael King, which was done by mistake as he was supposed to be named after his father Martin King, Leader of the Christian reformation movement
  • He is often referred to as MLK his initials

Jan 15 21
Christina Zumwalt