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Seconds Matter

Dec 17, 2023

It's been a year, and honestly, not much has changed since we first got our minds blown by ChatGPT. We all thought it would change the world. But here we are, a year later, and the day-to-day grind of work is pretty much the same. Sure, ChatGPT has spiced up some jobs, but the mass layoffs we braced for? Haven’t happened. The biggest shift? Those endless LinkedIn posts, now stuffed with fancy adverbs.

So, what’s the deal with this AI revolution? Is it everything it was cracked up to be, or just a bunch of hype? Let's dive in.


Technology and Second Order Effects

Rewind to the early 1900s. The automobile rolls out, an absolute marvel. People were gob smacked – how on earth do these wagons move without horses? But then, skepticism crept in. These noisy, flashy cars seemed more like playthings for the rich, clogging up streets still ruled by horse and buggies. They’d break down, and no one could fix them. Were these cars really better than the trusted old horse-drawn carriage?

Fast forward 20 years, and the game changed. The industry made tweaks here and there, making cars more accessible. The Ford Model T brought prices down, and suddenly, there were gas stations and repair shops popping up everywhere. Cars reshaped everything – the American landscape, culture, economy. They went from luxury items to absolute must-haves. By the 1920s, cars were a staple of daily life, a total shift in how people moved and lived.

 

AI and its Ripple Effects

AI and ChatGPT are something else, really. But to understand what they'll mean for us down the road, we need to look beyond the surface. Satya Nadella broke down AI as two unique innovations. A new “user interface” and a computer “reasoning engine”. We've come a long way from those scary black screens developers use (Command Line Interface), through Graphical User Interfaces, all the way to touch screens (the most natural to use). AI’s brought us an even more natural user interface: language. The second big thing? The reasoning engine. We've moved past computers just blindly following orders step by step. With AI they are able to reason and understand. That’s a game-changer.

Think about the internet. It took a solid ten years from its debut before it really shook things up (hello, ordering dinner from your sofa). The AI revolution is going to need its time too.

 

Killer Apps

Take the iPhone. Its real magic wasn’t just the phone itself, but the doors it opened. Maps transformed how we navigate. Apps like Uber changed how we travel. Back then, people were busy if they like a touch keyboard or a physical keyboard more, not understanding the bigger picture.

The iPhone took about 3-4 years, to find its killer app. AI will too.

Imagine the possibilities now that developers have a solid reasoning engine to play with. Tesla’s been at its Autopilot for ten years, and it's not quite there yet. But think about ChatGPT handling video like it does with photos. Designing a self-driving car could be as easy as three software developers coding for a couple of months. And that's just scratching the surface. What else could AI unlock? I’m excited to find out. As developers get their hands on these tools, we can only guess at the kind of breakthroughs they’ll make – from revolutionizing road safety to cooking up totally new businesses and services.

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