AI will make the world’s first trillionaires

Hate or love Mark Cuban, you have to agree that the man has an eye for trends, after all he made one of the biggest gains in tech history getting Yahoo! to pay him a few billion for his startup. Here’s what he is saying about Artificial Intelligence.

“I am telling you, the world’s first trillionaires are going to come from somebody who masters AI and all its derivatives and applies it in ways we never thought of.”

By the way, the best way to conceptualize a trillion dollars is to think of the following question. If someone tasked you with spending $100,000 a day, how long would it take you to spend a trillion dollars? The answer: 27,397 years. We will have trillionaires in the next 25 years, they are very likely already born.

The obvious uses of AI are things like:

  • Self-driving cars
  • Pilotless aircraft
  • Robotic soldiers

These are all obvious uses because they all exist today.

  • You can take spin around town safely in an autonomous car in some cities from many manufacturers, thanks to AI.
  • You can quite safely program a late model AirBus, Boeing or Bombardier aircraft to land itself without a pilot at most of the world’s airports, thanks to AI.
  • You can see robotic technology in the battlefield today (no the machines don’t look like the Hollywood ones), thanks to AI.

AI is not new. I worked on AI projects in the early 90’s that figured out Gate handling at airports. I worked on AI systems in the late 90’s that did financial risk analysis and in the 2000’s that sorted out identity and eligibility determination but none of these are transformational solutions. What’s changed?

Over the last 30 years AI has been used in “point solutions” where you have a very specific business problem that needs an answer. It was complex and expensive to build solutions and thus it was only used in very specific cases. Today, AI is pervasive, cheap and democratized.

What does the democratization of AI mean? This is what Microsoft says:

  • We’re going to harness artificial intelligence to fundamentally change how we interact with the ambient computing, the agents, in our lives.
  • We’re going to infuse every application that we interact with, on any device, at any point in time, with intelligence.
  • We’ll make these same intelligent capabilities that are infused in our own apps — the cognitive capabilities — available to every application developer in the world.
  • We’re building the world’s most powerful AI supercomputer and making it available to anyone, via the cloud, to enable all to harness its power and tackle AI challenges, large and small.

In short we go from “point solutions” in AI, to “everything with AI”. Simple examples of this at work include the new Huawei smart phone that now has an on-board chip for real-time translation of spoken languages.

Mark Cuban is right. We are the edge of revolution that will be bigger than the personal computer. The entrepreneurs that figure out the way to build the things that will again transform the world are very likely our first trillionaires. What’s your idea on how to use AI?

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