The Last Tech Humans Will Invent

Artificial Intelligence (AI) that can cure cancer. AI that will know what you want before you want it. AI that can invent anything humans can invent but better and faster. As Scott Phoenix, co-founder of Vicarious calls it, “the last tech humans will invent”. It may take 10, 20, or 50 years to get there but it is coming.

AI Is Hot In Here

The new hot thing is artificial intelligence (AI). I started to look into AI and quickly found out most AI today is what is known as weak AI or narrow AI. Things like Siri and Google Now. Designed to do specifics tasks. Not as interesting as it used to be. I would classify this as smarter software. I am far from an expert in this field yet AI will be changing rapidly as computing power gets faster and as more investments pour in.

Vicarious is working on human-level AI. Some call it artificial general intelligence (AGI). Where things get interesting in the AI field is with AGI. This is where a machine has the ability to think like humans. AGI is what science fiction writers and futurists have been craving. Think HAL 9000, Tony Stark’s JARVIS, or the movie “Her”.

There is no need to worry though. A Terminator Skynet future is highly unlikely. AGI is not going to take us over. Rather AGI will “augment” our lives as Marc Canter explained it to me. Just as any technology today, AGI will help us do what we do.

“Possibly our last invention”

The bold claim is AGI will be able to solve our hardest problems. Such as a possible cure for cancer and create better inventions than humans. Possibly our last invention. This is a big “what if” however the implications are profound.

Today AI tools for sales and marketing professionals are mainly “rules-based” AI. If something happens then do this. The software will scan your email and calendar and make suggestions. Salesforce is working on something called Einstein with AI built into its core. A smarter Salesforce for more predictive insights. This AI is more of an assistant. Obviously it is considerably more sophisticated. It is exciting progress but I see there is a need for much more.

I don’t know yet how I feel about a bot reminding me to call a client just because someone programmed in a timed trigger. Rules-based AI has its place but it doesn’t yet think about our originality. There are so many nuances in human behavior unique to each individual. Particularly with buying and selling.

AI and Humans

What makes the human brain amazing is its ability to create mental models with very little information. We learn primarily through our environment and experiences. Each person has a unique way of learning and applying what they learn. We are all original.

This is my beef with the traditional training models today. Essentially teach everyone the same thing the same way, Especially with sales training. Usually, some veteran sales guy who teaches the entire class the same model he has been using for the last 30 years. Nothing adaptive or unique to me. I am left to figure it out on my own. Mainly conform to someone else’s opinion.

I can see the value of an AI engine automating some of my manual tasks. For me, though I am more interested in an AI-powered partner. Kind of like Steph and Klay. Han Solo and Chewbacca. Milk and cookies. Creating a dynamic duo. Someone or something that understands my unique style while merging it with effective methods. A personal AI just for me.

Granted AI is just in the beginning stages of getting interesting. My hope is Vicarious and other entrepreneurs are successful and we get a more personalized environment. More customization.

With Google’s announcement today of its Google Assistant, their vision is clear. Build a unique Google for each person. A personal assistant for everyone. Google understands the uniqueness of each individual. By tailoring Google to each person they understand the experience becomes more personal. Why does that matter? When we make the experience more personal, we tend to buy more. Simple concept, hard to implement.

A personal AI just for me. Now only if there was something like this for work….TBD.

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