“A strategy based on ‘FOMO’ is not a strategy. It’s lunacy” – Futurist Jim Carroll
The near-term future with A.I. is an unholy mess.
The long term doesn’t look much better really, and it’s safe to say that going forward, chat-based artificial intelligence is the new crypto!
There is so much hype around this fast-moving trend today that there is absolutely hysteria around getting involved – and the result is that a lot of companies are going to do a lot of stupid things. I’m not necessarily talking about the companies bringing chat-based A.I. to the world – Microsoft, Google, OpenAI, and others – that’s a whole separate mess. I’m talking about regular, mainstream companies.
That was one of the conclusions I offered up during a keynote yesterday in Florida for a room full of CEOs of major reinsurance companies. The latter half of my talk focused on a tour of the trends around A.I. – what’s real, what’s not, what’s hyped, and what’s overhyped. My intent was to provide them with a grounding in reality so that they might carefully judge the many strategic requests they will be getting from their staff and leadership teams.
The FOMO – ‘fear of missing out’ – around the use of A.I. is simply going to be staggering. News around A.I. is everywhere, and it seems that every technology vendor is rushing to add some component of chat-based A.I. technology to their service offerings, particularly customer-support platforms. The result is that many technology vendors are going to be banging at the door of their customers, promoting new ‘smart’ products that will bring remarkable benefits to their business operations.
And yet, some tempering of reality is in order. I’m fully aware that something remarkable is underway – and yet when FOMO overtakes the agenda, dumb things happen. One of my comments yesterday is that as this modern-day gold rush gets underway, we are going to see a LOT of very bad customer support desk implementations based on A.I. chatbot technology. If customers thought their interaction with customer support desks today was bad, wait until they see what’s coming!
We’ve been here before. Many companies and industries had been busy rushing to put in place a blockchain strategy, without fully articulating why they were doing so. Chasing a technology without a strategy is lunacy – and what has happened with many initiatives is that the strategy was never fully defined. Today, many of these initiatives are dying on the vine. And don’t get me going on crypto and NFTs. I was one of the few who was crying wolf into the wilderness.
The same thing happened with IoT – “Internet of Things” – technology. That’s the ability to deploy device hyperconnectivity – adding intelligence and connectivity to everyday devices to give them additional functionality and degrees of intelligence. There is a powerful busy reason to explore this path as a real strategic opportunity, but because so many organizations rushed into it, the result was a security nightmare and an operability nightmare. Companies deployed products that were easily hacked, fundamentally insecure, and massively unreliable. The result that there emerged on Twitter an account called “InternetofShit” summarized all the awfulness that ensued.
Such as ceiling fans that require Internet connectivity to work and yet, can drive customers mad when things go wrong.
It’s for reasons like this that I wrote my post “The 11 Rules of IoT Architecture” which provides a rational, intelligent path for deployment. Few companies pay attention to such things though – a mad rush into the future without strategy often results in implementation negligence. The problem with the future has always been that a rush to the latest-and-greatest new technology has always been a mess, because of the “Fear of Missing Out” – and that’s exactly what is happening right now and in the future, with A.I. There are massive new strategic opportunities unfolding here, but many will rush into the deployment of technology without really thinking about, clarifying, or actual pursuing those opportunities.
Some time back, I took apart the issue of ‘faster FOMO’ in a video clip from my virtual broadcast studio – in this case, NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), Clubhouse, and other hyped technologies— all of which are not really real trends to be concerned about anymore.
Mark my words.
A.I. is the new crypto.