The machines are coming

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The machines are coming.

There is a new battle being waged in the technology space featuring some big names, big money and potentially a big impact on the player who crosses the line last. It is the battle for leadership in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) or machine learning space.

Marco Arment, the co-founder of social media site Tumblr, recently stirred controversy by suggesting AI could make Apple the next BlackBerry. To explain, before the iPhone was launched in 2007, the Blackberry was the king of smartphones, keenly sought after by business people the world over. It had taken leadership position from companies like Nokia by providing phones with fully featured email support, perfect for busy executives. But then the world changed. Apple developed a device that put not just your email inbox in your hand but delivered the power of the internet and serious computing grunt. The Blackberry was dead.

Arment suggests that like the iPhone launch, AI is the next big thing that will change what our devices are used for.

Amazon, Facebook, Alphabet (formerly Google) and countless others have invested heavily for years in AI and big data services. If they are right, AI based assistants (think Siri, only much smarter), voice interfaces, smart locators, and other tools that allow our devices to do our thinking for us before we think it, are the next big, big thing and we'll all be clamouring for them.

Arment suggests Apple is a long way behind the AI curve, and like the Blackberry, is vulnerable to being left behind as the company that makes nice devices that we used to use in a certain way.

The machines are coming and time will tell whether AI indeed becomes the new game-changer, and which players get to the finishing line first. We remain happy investors in Alphabet (formerly Google) and are pleased to be on the right side of this particular battle!


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