In the future, all companies will be Artificial Intelligence companies
Marc Andreessen, renowned founder of Netscape and venture capital firm a16z, in his famous article published in the Wall Street Journal in 2011 titled "Why Software Is Eating the World" stated that software was the biggest opportunity at that time and where he would invest his money given the way the world was going to change because of software.
Over 10 years have passed, and today we can see how accurate that vision was. Absolutely every company in the world cannot operate without some form of software. From the operating system on our smartphones and the software in payment terminals to government electronic systems like electronic invoices and fiscal SPED, all companies use software. Software has truly eaten the world.
Although Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a topic in the technology world for at least five decades (MIT's AI lab was founded in 1959), the past few months have served as a great awakening for the business world. The arrival of chatGPT in November 2022 materialized and made non-technical people realize what AI is capable of. For many, it is a moment of astonishment, understanding, access, and also fear.
Feelings of astonishment, understanding, and access arose because it became very easy to understand what is possible with AI and how accessible this technology is. All you need to do is communicate in natural language as we do among ourselves, humans. The great revolution brought by chatGPT was the intuitive interface associated with a very powerful AI model.
Fear always emerges when something revolutionary enters our lives. Doubts grow, apocalyptic scenarios like worker displacement are created. These are all important points for discussion. But that is not my focus right now.
My point of reflection here has much more to do with the provocation made by Marc Andreessen in 2011. AI will eat the world. If it hasn't already. And it is interesting to note that this statement does not invalidate Marc's original assertion since AI is essentially software.
Just as we can no longer live without software today, in the near future, we will not be able to live without AI.
You may argue that a bakery, for example, is not a software company since it does not produce its own software, and there is much truth to that.
But when it comes to AI, where models can be trained with company-specific data to perform specific actions, we can say that in the future, all companies will be AI companies. Or at the very least, they will hardly survive without incorporating AI into their productive routines, products, and services. AI identifying trends in bread consumption or creating new recipes will become common among bakeries.
That's how it always goes. Technological cycles give rise to renewed competitiveness. It was the same with the telephone, the computer, and the internet. Not to mention even older technological inventions like the compass, the engine, artificial light, and the telegraph. They all shook up the market and created many opportunities.
For now, the challenge for every entrepreneur, manager, or professional is to understand how this technology will change companies and how we can start integrating it immediately to stay competitive.
Image generated using Adobe Firefly
Fabio Seixas is the CEO of Softo, a technology and software company that helps businesses understand how AI can be incorporated into their operations.