The knowledge economy is dead. Long live the intuition economy

The knowledge economy is dead.  Long live the intuition economy

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The simultaneous excitement and fear surrounding Artificial Intelligence (AI) is truly remarkable.

On the one hand, businesses and investors are pouring billions into the technology, with interest accelerating since Microsoft-backed OpenAI publicly released the ChatGPT conversational chatbot in November that many are calling a game changer for AI. “Generative AI will change business models and the way work is done, and in the process, reinvent entire industries,” PwC recently said. relationship declared.

On the other hand, controversy is rampant. In May, AI pioneer Geoffrey Hinton warned that AI could pose a “more urgent” threat than climate change. A month earlier, billionaire Elon Musk and hundreds of others issued a open letter calling for a six-month break on advanced AI work, citing “profound risks to society and humanity”. And on May 16, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman told a Senate committee that he favors creating a new government licensing body for large-scale AI models.

Damn! Let’s catch our breath for a moment. To be sure, AI systems are getting smarter at a staggering rate, capable of understanding not just text but images, starting to compete with humans on general tasks, and even, as some suggest, starting to get close to the real thing. human-level intelligence. As a society, we should care deeply about where AI is going and, of course, make sure the technology is safe before it is implemented.


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At the same time, while some of the anxieties about AI are understandable, the discussion should be rational rather than hysterical. Sometimes it feels like the world is slipping into the latter.

The nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Data Innovation put it well in a recent relationship: “Technology and human creativity have long been intertwined and fears about the negative impact of new innovations have been overstated in the past. For example, previous innovations in the music industry led to fears that recorded albums would make live shows redundant. But “over time, this and other tech panics faded as the public embraced the new technology, markets adapted, and initial concerns either proved clearly overblown or never came.”

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I suspect the same will happen with AI. But that’s not to say we shouldn’t think hard about the impact of technology. We should just be reasonable in examining the trajectory of AI and how it will actually make a difference in society and the economy. Here are three things that I believe are true but are often lost in today’s debate.

Artificial intelligence will foster an ‘intuition economy’

Generative AI, which can produce complex content such as text, images and audio, has fueled fears that AI is usurping the human creativity that separates us from machines.

But there’s another way to look at the effect of generative AI. As Bill Gates described it in a recent blog posts“As computing power becomes cheaper, GPT’s ability to express ideas will increasingly be like having an employee available to help you with various tasks.”

In other words: artificial intelligence will help put all the world’s knowledge at everyone’s fingertips. For example, a lawyer won’t need a team of fellow attorneys and paralegals to do all sorts of research before arguing a major case before a jury if the entire wealth of information is easily accessible through an AI assistant.

Think of it as a collapse of the knowledge gap. And what that means, I think, is that, with knowledge commodified and democratized, we will enter an “economy of insight” in which human creativity will be valued more than ever before.

For so-called knowledge workers, success will come not only from the accumulation and expression of knowledge – as artificial intelligence increasingly assumes that role – but also from exploiting this now widely available knowledge for new insights, innovations and discoveries.

Another way to look at it: AI will never replace humans, as doomsayers fear, but as AI systems get smarter, they will force people to get smarter and more creative as well. The value of pure knowledge decreases; the importance of what is done with that knowledge increases.

Companies and people who cannot adapt will be left behind

Goldman Sachs recently predicted that global generative AI “could expose the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs to automation”. But, his report added, ‘the displacement of workers away from automation has historically been offset by the creation of new jobs, and the emergence of new occupations as a result of technological innovations accounts for the vast majority of long-term employment growth. term”.

I expect something similar to happen in the new world of AI. With knowledge flattened as I described in point #. 1, the most successful people and companies will be those who can connect the dots between different information streams.

In general, significant innovations henceforth will occur in the “unknown world”, i.e. through insights gained through AI’s ability to streamline and accelerate the accumulation of knowledge as humans focus on unraveling previously indecipherable mysteries.

In some ways, what is happening mirrors the historical transformation of the software industry towards an open-source model in which the underlying code is freely available and companies compete based on the value they build on it. AI will be to knowledge what open source has been to software: all that matters is the proprietary value built on commodified knowledge.

For this reason, my bet is that artificial intelligence leads to greater innovation and productivity in business and society at large.

Artificial intelligence is an unstoppable train

We live in an age of acceleration. Consider that the agricultural economy lasted thousands of years, the industrial economy lasted a couple of hundred, and the knowledge economy lasted about 50.

Or, remember that it took Microsoft 25 years to become a household name, Google less than half, and ChatGPT a few months.

Technology moves in only one direction: forward. While it’s wise to assess the impact of AI and consider guardrails on its development if they’re warranted, the puss is out of the bag on AI. This is simply the reality.

It will be impossible to stop this technology and extremely difficult to slow it down – there are too many benefits, not to mention too much money to be made – so the smartest thing to do is ask the right questions about AI, sensibly, without panicking, and prepare for the inevitable future driven by artificial intelligence.

Bipul Sinha is the CEO and co-founder of data security company Zero Trust Address book.


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