I wanted this to be a long, deep essay about why tech companies are falling over themselves to develop, buy, grab, pivot, integrate whatever verb you please to AI.
But it doesn’t need to be long. Two quotes sum up what is going on.
1. The big platforms have a quality problem.
Here is how platforms die: first, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die. I call this enshittificationEnshitifcation / Corey Doctorow
Corey is right, this is Google’s problem right now. Google search is their cash cow, the company has become a verb. YouTube is more popular than Netflix and Disney+ combined. The thing to remember; everything is built on ads. Ads are built on attention, attention is built on need. AI is coming for that need
2. AI is coming for the need.
Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster said that
…one possible future is that these LLMs [AIs from OpenAI] could be built into the backend of many of the tech services we use. Imagine if Photoshop had an LLM answering questions instead of needing to Google questions and watch YouTube tutorials… This is the threat of OpenAI.
There is a reason the “I’m feeling lucky” button was removed. Jumping to the first search result meant no ad $$.
This is the need AI fulfils. I don’t want 35,000 articles on how to create a pivot table in Excel. I need one. I don’t need 300 videos on how to fix a dripping tap / faucet. I need the right one.
If I can ask Excel to show me how to create a pivot table or Alexa to guide me through fixing that drip because it know what faucet / tap I have, there is no place for Google.
This is the reality Google woke up to after Christmas. That’s just one example. AI possess is a real an opportunity / threat to most businesses. Do I need to go to my local hardware store to ask for the doowikky that fixes the whatsisname? Can AI search Etsy, myriad Shopify store for the perfect gift for my my Mum?
The best way to think about AI, is that it will get good at many of the things we humans are good at, and it will do it quickly.
Quickly surpassing the algorithm as the driver behind tech platforms, and then process in business (eg legal, accounting) and eventually the relationships between us humans (scheduling, communication); through to the inevitable; society itself.
Dependent on your point of view that is either exciting or frightening. You just need to figure out which it is for you.
I’m curious, Which is it for you?
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