MindBullets 20 Years

Say goodbye to Gen AI

There’s a new agent in the matrix

The tech industry was looking decidedly mundane and mature almost a decade ago. Phones were hotter than laptops and servers in the cloud were quite passe. The biggest thing was – yawn – Big Data. Then covid lockdowns happened, and tech got a shot in the arm.

Suddenly it was about remote working, teleconferencing, and ubiquitous broadband, no matter where in the world you were. Netflix, Zoom and Starlink all exploited the new ‘work and play from anywhere’ paradigm, and tech stocks were hot once more.

Next came the launch of ChatGPT and the boom in large language models that could understand prompts and generate content, be it text, code, images, or video – generative artificial intelligence, or Gen AI. For the first time, it seemed, AI was actually useful, and the chatbots were quickly recruited into the workplace, by creators and office staff alike. So much so, that when ChatGPT went down, it was a global calamity.

Led by Microsoft and Apple, the tech giants fueled the boom, with Nvidia, the AI chip maker, being the only hardware manufacturer to catch this new wave in a big way. Then came a spate of new ‘AI PCs’, laptops with built in neural processors and optimized for Gen AI tasks. Tech was once more exciting, everyone needed new machines to keep up with their colleagues, and hardware sales surged.

But, like all hype cycles, this wave has subsided. Smart chatbots have become somewhat boring, limited in their usefulness, and their tendency to invent ‘facts’ or spout nonsense has tarnished their image, despite obvious productivity gains. Treat Gen AI with caution is the commonsense approach. And watch those ballooning energy bills.

That hasn’t deterred the tech giants at all. Coming down the pipe is a new wave of Agent AI. Smart systems that can leverage the pre-trained models to execute on a goal, employing ‘machine reasoning’ instead of machine learning, to autonomously and recursively step through self-directed tasks and processes to get things done. And learning from their mistakes.

Best of all, Agent AI is designed for efficiency, rather than brute force, with new systems-on-a-chip that optimize hardware use to get the most operations per Watt, rather than per second, bringing smarts back to your laptop and phone, putting you in charge, and less dependent on energy-hungry datacenters and gigaband networks.

So, say hello to your new ‘Agent Smith’. It’s the future of your personal Matrix.

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Futureworld uses a technology intelligence lens to help our global clients capitalize on opportunities provided by emerging tech, and create game-changing new businesses. To separate the hype from hyperscale results, feel free to contact the author Doug Vining or intelligence expert Adam Parsons.

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer.