Why artificial intelligence is the “NEXT” big thing

Our mind can’t process the concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Not yet. AI is categorized as a very geeky thing, only understood by hordes of scientists working in IBM, Google and the likes.

AI is still not clear in the mind of the masses. That’s why, AI will be the “NEXT” big thing, and is not “THE ACTUAL” big thing. AI will take off when the masses understand the opportunities that AI can bring to them.

Let me tell you what i mean.

Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos did it before.

Steve jobs made people better understand the power of the internet. It took him 50 years to achieve that. It’s neither the Macintosh, nor the IPod that made the leap in people’s minds. It’s the whole experience that Steve delivered in 2007, with the launch of the IPhone. That’s the event where Steve gave the final blow to people’s mind. He showed the world the opportunities that the internet can bring to them. Why? In 2017, 10 years after the iPhone launch, the app store reached 2,200,000,000 apps. That’s 2.2 billion ideas that have been implemented. If you consider that only 20% of ideas get implemented, that’s more than 10 billions ideas that Steve Job triggered with the release of the IPhone. It’s neither the phone, nor the computer, nor the software; it’s the staggering holistic experience that made people finally understand how they can use the internet to gain wealth. It’s as if people said “Now we get what you mean Steve”. Steve Jobs made people understand the opportunities that the internet can bring to them. That’s a legacy that Steve truly deserves to be recognized for.

Jeff Bezos made people understand the power of e-commerce. From books, to electronics, to fresh food, to one click purchase, to 4 hours delivery, Jeff managed stimulate our minds. It took him 20 years to achieve that. The masses today understand the opportunities that e-commerce bring to them. It’s a no brainer. Because our mind can process it, thanks to Jeff.

Elon Musk and Satoshi Nakamoto are doing it.

Elon Musk is on the way of making people understand the opportunities that renewable energy can bring to them. From electric cars, to solar panel tiles, to space X, to the mission to Mars, Elon clearly has a message to convey, one that will stimulate people’s minds. But he didn’t nail it yet. The Tesla car experience is amazing, but not everyone can afford it. Solar panel tiles are cool, but too expensive, not accessible to the masses. One day, Elon will release a staggering experience, accessible to the masses, that will push their mind to properly process renewable energy. Imagine 10 billion ideas generated by people around renewable energy…

Satoshi Nakamoto is on the way of conveying the power of cryptography. How many people talked (and are still talking) about BitCoin? What is interesting, is that crypto is not about currency. Currency is one aspect of crypto. Being a Computer Engineer, I can tell you the world of crypto is huge, we still didn’t scratch it’s surface. But still, no one managed to stimulate the masses. We might need many more white papers from Satoshi to reach the tipping point. In fact, Satoshi, with the secrecy around his/her identity, and the nature of the application he/she decided to showcase, conveyed a very dark and negative sentiment around crypto. Crypto deserves to be elevated to a whole new level to be properly processed by our brain.

The race for AI.

AI is definitely not a new topic. Although the term Artificial Intelligence is quite new, the concept of AI has been a fantasy for humans since antiquity.

It goes far back to the greeks. Greek myths of Hephaestus and Pygmalion incorporated the idea of intelligent robots (such as Talos) and artificial beings (such as Galatea and Pandora)

In the 17th century, philosophers like Gottfried Leibniz, Thomas Hobbes and René Descartes explored the possibility that all rational thought could be made as systematic as algebra or geometry.They went as far as reaching a theory where a universal language of reasoning would reduce argumentation to calculation, so that "there would be no more need of disputation between two philosophers than between two accountants”. These philosophers had begun to articulate that hypothesis, which would become the guiding faith of AI research.

In the 20th century, the study of mathematical logic provided the essential breakthrough that made AI seem plausible. Mathematicians reached a conclusion that any form of mathematical reasoning could be mechanized. They concluded that a mechanical device, shuffling symbols as simple as 0 and 1, could imitate any conceivable process of mathematical deduction. That’s the Turing machine principle. This revelation would inspire a handful of scientists to begin discussing the possibility of thinking machines.

The term Artificial Intelligence was created by John McCarthy in 1956. AI research was officially founded at a workshop held on the campus of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States, during the summer of that same year. In that workshop, scientists predicted that a machine as intelligent as a human being would exist in no more than a generation and they were given millions of dollars to make this vision come true. Nevertheless, hardware limitation disillusioned investors and governments, and the AI project turned into an AI winter.

It’s only in the second decade of the 21st century that AI came back to light, with the boom of cloud computing, and the introduction of quantum computing.

Between 1956 and today, nothing stoped people from predicting, imagining and evangelizing the future of AI.

A clear AI depiction came with Arthur C. Clarke novel “2001: A Space Odessi”, and its adaptation by Stanley Kubrick in a movie under the same name released in 1968. The story featured an AI computer, called HAL, considered a dependable member of a spaceship crew, maintaining ship functions and engaging genially with its human crew-mates on an equal footing. HAL is shown capable of speech, speech recognition, facial recognition, natural language processing, lip reading, art appreciation, interpreting emotional behavior, automated reasoning, and playing chess.

In 1985, Steve Jobs revealed to students in Lunds University, Sweden, that his dream is to reach a level in technology, where anyone can have a one to one conversation with Aristotle.

In 1997, IBM’s Deep Blue chess machine defeats the world chess champion, Garry Kasparov

in 2011, IBM’s Watson computer defeated the television game show Jeopardy.

So we’ve been fed the idea of AI as a science fiction thing. We’ve been put under the impression that only giant firms and great minds can understand AI and make use of it.

The way AI was pitched to the masses is completely misleading. A machine that beats humans at chess? A computer th