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Wow, what a week!

"Like a tsunami"

This week started with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva saying artificial intelligence is hitting the global labor market "like a tsunami," picking up on the same analogy I did in my book, The Intelligence Tsunami: Get Off the Beach, Ride the Wave, or Get Washed Away. She said artificial intelligence will likely impact 60% of jobs in advanced economies and 40% of jobs worldwide in the next two years, which sounds about right. It likely will impact your job.

Many aren't prepared

I regularly attend AI-related networking events. I’m struck by how many professionals are unprepared for what’s coming. Yesterday, I attended several breakout sessions discussing how to increase productivity by using large language models, like Chat GPT, Google Gemini, and Claude. Not only are many people not familiar with these tools, but some have never tried them out themselves. They do that at their own peril. 

I’m old enough to remember the Apple II ushering in the age of the PC and of Netscape announcing that the Internet had arrived. Chat GPT 3 demonstrated that mainstream AI is here when it launched in November 2022. The Intelligence Tsunami is one of history’s greatest value-creating and most disruptive transformations. Those not paying attention need to get off the beach, ride the wave, or get washed away.

The battle of the tech titans

Free society operates best with good governance. Steph Curry is one of the deadliest NBA sharpshooters of all time because, from the time he was little, the basket was always 10 feet off the ground. With proper guardrails, competition is a powerful force that compels us to think and execute at higher and higher levels. OpenAI unveiled GPT-4o this week with amazing new features. Soon, multimodal capabilities will allow Chat GPT to understand and respond to your requests in the form of written text, spoken language, and images. It will have an enhanced voice assistant that can see and understand the world around you, providing real-time feedback based on what you share through your camera. Demos have shown OpenAI talking to the user with human-like emotion, empathy, and humor. Increasingly intelligent agents will be constant companions we talk to regularly, like human friends. OpenAI is making GPT-4o free for all users. Paid subscriptions still have advantages in terms of speed and priority. This drastically increases the number of people who can experiment with and utilize this powerful AI tool. Wider adoption could lead to a surge of innovation and applications built on GPT-4.

Not to be outdone, on the same day, Google made impressive announcements at Google I/O 2024. Project Astra is their next-generation AI assistant that is also multimodal, understanding and responding through sight, sound, and text. Google is integrating these capabilities into Search, allowing for a more natural and intuitive search experience. They are also making AI development tools, like Firebase Genkit and TensorFlow Lite, more accessible to developers, which may lead to a surge of AI-powered applications. Google announced Gemini 1.5 Pro, which boasts a massive 1 million token context window, allowing it to understand and respond to your requests based on much larger chunks of information. Google is integrating powerful capabilities like translation, coding, and reasoning into its wide range of apps, including Search, Gmail, Maps, and Drive. Personally, I’m deep into the Google ecosystem, with a Pixel 7 Pro Smartphone, Google Maps, Google Weather, Google TV, Google Speakers, a Fitbit watch, and a Nest thermostat and door lock. I’m excited to see personalization across these devices that make my life easier and more enjoyable.


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John Warner


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