What Will We Do After This AI Wave

I like my blog because it provides me with dated looks into how I feel in any particular moment–something I need to feel sane in a pretty insane digital landscape that likes to just memory hole things so it can perpetually celebrate what is next. With this in mind I wanted to write a blog post about the current AI wave we are in so that I can read it after we have survived it—-which we will. It is so fascinating how people so badly want to believe in AI, and the oxygen gets sucked out of the room for anyone with thoughts on other subjects, or push back on AI in any way. I just want a journal entry for this moment, not so I can point back and say “I Told You So!”. It is just so I can stay sane in all this insanity.

So, what will we do after this AI wave? The same as after previous ones. Keep doing the hard work to tame the tech beast we’ve unleashed. When I see what AI is capable of, I see useful incremental shifts in how we communicate, build, and manage technology in our business and professional lives. When I see what promises are made around what AI is capable of, I see a lot of hustling, money moving around, disrupting labor, and many people who enjoy being “prompt engineers” while being fed what the narrative is. I am sure we will obtain some new and interesting incremental AI tools and services this round, but I see things already beginning to settle into what I’ve seen with previous waves, and people will begin looking for what is next without much retrospection on what just was. It is how things work.

I think this round I will do more work to solidify my business and financial base so that I can more easily weather future hype cycles around AI. One thing I’ve learned about AI (and other technological) believers, is the line up at the trough to believe again. I see a lot of parallels between religion, drug addiction, and digital technology. Believers are going to believe, often despite overwhelming real-world evidence. In this AI cycle the big tech companies like Microsoft and Nvidia, who are selling the AI picks and shovels will do well. There will be another layer of companies who are selling AI experiences directly who will do well, but not because of what they are selling to AI consumers, but what they are selling to investors and the market. AI is just one of the more visible storytelling derivatives all wound up and bundled with previous derivatives to deliver this generated digital financial products.

Honestly I find a little more oxygen and peace up here above the hype. It is lonely. But I am not caught up in the insanity of building a specific tool or service, or trying to make investors and the market believe my business is actually real when it isn’t. I am just doing the hard work of mapping and governing a single enterprise for my day job, and also of the wider public API ecosystem as my side hobby. All of which will contribute to the evolution of AI while not being caught up in this single wave of AI. AI is just API entropy from my perspective. It is just the next application of APis. Your AI will only be as good as your APIs. The loudest AI believers will be just like the loudest Web 3.0 believers, they’ll just switch unapologetically to what is next. Many younger folks will learn and take the lessons with them to their next jobs, slowly becoming more pragmatic with each wave. Most will just ride each wave like it is all that matters today, and joyfully ride each wave with the same delusional buy-in—-it is how digital technology works.