The Industrial Revolution was led by Thomas Edison who established the Electricity supply system, Henry Ford who commoditized automobiles, John Rockefeller who ensured a steady supply of Oil, J.P. Morgan who supported industry with a steady supply of Finance, Andrew Carnegie who led the expansion of the steel industry, Cornelius Vanderbilt who built the transportation industry through railroads and shipping and Graham Bell who supported communications via the telephone. Companies that led the Industrial revolution in 1960 were GM, Standard Oil, Ford, GE, US Steel, Gulf Oil, Texaco and Chrysler.
The Information Revolution has seen an explosion in Internet traffic from 180 TB (Terabyte) in late 90’s to 156 EB (Exabyte) in 2019 with the Market Capitalisation of Internet companies going up by 1000x in the same period of time. In the last 25 years alone the companies in the Top 10 have seen a dramatic change from NTT, GE, Exxon Mobil, Coca Cola, GM, Philip Morris, Walmart, Merck, Roche and IBM in 1994 to Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, Berkshire Hathaway, Alibaba, Tencent, Johnson & Johnson and Visa in 2019, signalling the end of the Industrial revolution and the beginning of the Information revolution.
We are at the beginning of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Revolution which will revolutionise all industries and create a new business order. The magnitude of this revolution, which has hitherto not been seen will transform every business and established players will have the most to lose.
Let’s look at the world’s largest ride-sharing platform Uber, Ola, Didi and Grab, whose annual gross merchandise value (GMV) has shot up from USD 23 billion in 2016 to USD 95.8 billion in 2019 a staggering compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 60% year on year.
The world’s leading working space community WeWork has risen to 466,000 memberships from under 100,000 memberships in just 2 years’ time achieving a CAGR of over 120%.
India’s leading hotel network in India OYO Rooms has added 176,000 new rooms cumulatively in the last 3 months in India, China and internationally, compared to just 15,000 rooms by Marriott, leading international hotel group chain and only 10,000 rooms by the Hilton group.
AI will see the coming to life of the new Brain computer. The number of transistors exceeded the human brain in 2017 with IBM, Global Foundries and Samsung developing an industry first process to build silicon nanosheet transistors that will enable 5 nanometer chips which is essentially 30 billion switches onto a microprocessor chip versus only 3 billion switches in 2010, enabling a giant leap in nano micro-processing capability.
AI with the help of mixed reality is allowing people to make presentations in any part of the world without travelling in any language using the unique voice signature in real-time. The mixed reality technology adopted by Microsoft is being used to create the hologram and render it live and AI speech to text capability and transcription and then use AI translate into any language and finally apply neural text to speech technology to get the unique voice, completely democratizing AI.
Conventional tissue biopsies were slow, expensive and inherently risky. This is being replaced with liquid biopsy which is increasingly safe, affordable and rapid. The next generation of AI is the generalisation of DNA treatment, the replacement of dead cells with new cells, and the 3D printing of artificial organs leading to the death of ageing by increasing life expectancy to 200 years and even the possibility of the elimination of death.
Human beings will begin to live with and co-exist with intelligent robots as repetitive tasks will swiftly migrate to robots. Chatbots will replicate most human conversations with in-built AI to keep improving the responses. Everything will be integrated into the cloud (Big Data) from intelligent automobiles to health interventions to intelligent machines leading to a world of 10 trillion connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
With AI the ability to customise the human experience will increase exponentially. The food we eat will be safer and customized to each person’s interest where robots will replace chefs as they will get the ingredients and process of cooking spot on. The new world will have no car accidents through autonomous driving with companies like Tesla spearheading this move. We will experience a world without any fatal diseases as DNA analysis will eliminate these and incurable diseases like cancer will be curable in 10 years with the artificial replacement of cells.
Are human beings, companies and countries willing to allow this world to come in and take over many roles and applications? Are we ready to reskill and retool to be prepared for the new normal? Are we open to the possibilities to teach ourselves about these rapidly evolving technologies as AI is built on self-learning and self-improvement? Can we emotionally evolve to deal with the new world order of robots and AI?
The world of AI is here to stay! Can humans evolve as fast as AI which is programmed to evolve as part of its DNA?
Chairman, Universal Business School