Why suddenly AI is everywhere

Lately, there’s been a lot of buzz about artificial intelligence (AI), and it might seem like this technology just popped up overnight. However, the truth is that big companies have been eyeing and investing in AI for years before most of us even knew what it was.

For instance, you might remember when digital art like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) suddenly became a hot topic, or when cryptocurrency ads seemed to be everywhere. These technologies didn’t just appear; they were developed and nurtured over time, often with the support of big investments from venture capital firms. These firms not only invest in technology but also create opportunities for major companies to discover and use new innovations. This process helps startups get the exposure they need and allows larger companies to stay ahead of the curve by integrating new tech into their operations.

Eric Koester, a professor and entrepreneur, explains that venture capital firms play a crucial role by introducing big companies to emerging tech through what they call “innovation tours.” This is where executives from large companies meet startups that are developing new technologies. The goal is twofold: to potentially buy these startups and to understand new trends that they might partner with.

For example, Microsoft began investing in OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT, back in 2019. Melanie Subin from the Future Today Institute points out that these investments are usually not new interests but rather the culmination of long-term observation and planning. Companies like Microsoft invest in AI because of the incredible advances in computing power, improved hardware capabilities, and better data storage solutions that make technologies like AI more feasible and scalable than ever before.

But it’s not just about the technology itself. According to Koester, predicting what technology will catch on can be tricky and sometimes it comes down to basic human desires and behaviors, such as laziness (or “sloth”) and the pursuit of wealth (“greed”). AI fits into these categories well because it can automate tasks (reducing effort) and help generate profits (increasing wealth).

However, as much as AI offers many benefits, there are also significant concerns. The rapid adoption of AI in various fields has led to worries about job displacement and ethical issues, particularly in creative industries. Artists and writers, for instance, are wary of AI that can mimic their styles or automate their work, fearing it could undermine their careers and livelihoods. Recent strikes by writers and actors in Hollywood have highlighted these concerns, pushing for agreements to protect their work against the unregulated use of AI.

In short, the sudden noise about AI isn’t so sudden at all. It’s the result of years of development, investment, and negotiation, now coming to a head as the technology becomes more integrated into everyday life and business. As AI continues to evolve, it will be crucial to balance its benefits with mindful regulations to protect those it could impact the most.

Carl Gruen

Carl is the founding host of the Australia128 program and brings a world of expertise to the station. From Canadian, Australian, and European Indie, to the more undiscovered Indie markets in Asia and Latin America.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *