Bloomberg published an article entitled “Artificial Intelligence Nears the Summit of Hype in Davos” (Artificial Intelligence reaches the height of the hype in Davos). It was a rather cynical way of looking at how the leaders of business and politics talked about AI during the Davos conference.
I find it refreshing to hear that. For me, it seems like all the things people want to talk about is Blockchain. Which, in my estimation, does not have a fraction of the AI’s potential.
Perhaps the cynicism is that the forms of artificial intelligence in our world today are so incredibly widespread that we regularly take them for granted. That was central to what I wrote about AI earlier this week .
When people forget that a voice in their car telling them where to drive is artificial intelligence, it’s only natural that they completely forget the potential behind it. Maybe they just think of a robot butler when they hear “artificial intelligence.”
Of course, some of the comments about the artificial intelligence from Davos have, let’s say, a strong aftertaste. As the Bloomberg author noted, one participant said that artificial intelligence will be more important than humankind’s control of fire or electricity.
That sounds a bit ridiculous, of course. However, one could easily overestimate the magnitude of artificial intelligence. This is a problem when trying to compare such massive technological changes.
The use of fire seems to have been so groundbreaking and important because it was one of the first. The fire enabled so much more that we rely on today – even the current. But that’s what these technological changes are all about. They build on the previous technology, new discoveries and developments to create something new that will bring us further forward.
If we look at it that way, then the comparison of artificial intelligence with electricity or fire does not seem a bit over the top.
Maybe this is really about the timing. That is, how long it will take for the AI to penetrate everything.
To some extent, she already does that. As I drive through the city I’ve just moved into, there’s an AI-controlled voice that tells me where to go. When I open my email, an algorithm sorted them into different categories and probably removed spam. When I sit in front of the TV at the end of the day, Netflix uses AI algorithms to suggest what I might like to look at.
The truth is that the age of artificial intelligence is already there. It happens right in front of our eyes and so the executives have to deal with it and can not just put their heads in the sand. For those companies that are late with the introduction of AI, there may not be a way to catch up.
As an investor, I naturally like this potential very well. But it’s not just about investing in AI companies. When we look beyond the industry frontiers, there are almost endless possibilities for how AI can improve everything. The companies that develop AI technologies and systems will benefit, as will the companies that use them the most.