Entrepreneurs: the Brave People & the upcoming AI Revolution

I love Entrepreneurs – they’re full of hope, confidence to change the World, and solid determination to make it happen. The World as we know it wouldn’t be if they were not around.

Since early in my life, I’ve been surrounded by Entrepreneurs; my father was a very successful one back in Spain, creating his first company at age 23, and many more after that, in very diverse fields such as building large sailboats, to commercializing the first satellite communication services in Europe. Several of my siblings are also entrepreneurs, as well as many of my friends, here in Vancouver and across the Pond.

Entrepreneurship is a defined ‘MegaTrend’ – one of those big waves that’s rocking the World, changing the way things work and how people interact with each other. Since the Industrial Revolution, economies across the Capitalist world were defined by a handful or men and woman who led large industries, controlling not only money but power. All this changed starting with the dot.com boom and burst, and solidified as a MegaTrend after the 2008 financial collapse; many people found themselves without a stable job to hang on to, and that led many of them to make the jump into entrepreneurship.

All this wouldn’t have been possible without some underlying ground; the Internet over the 90s and early 00s set the stage for allowing people to communicate, learn, work and more importantly, trust in each other through a new medium such as this web-based interface. Similarly, when the telephone was invented, very few people believed this would transform the way business is conducted – just ask traders on Wall Street these days!

Web 1.0 set the stage for the Boom of Entrepreneurs supported by the Web 2.0. Now, if you ask any entrepreneur  these days what are their main challenges, the responses tend to be the same as 100 years ago: access to resources, capital, markets, product development, uncertain regulatory environment, and a few others. What the Web 2.0 has allowed is rapid access to resources across the world, faster interaction, easier communication with potential investors, but at the end of the day, a human continues to be critical for any of those tasks. The web is simply a tool and enhances our abilities, such as described by Steve Jobs with computers… “A bicycle for our minds”.

I truly believe we’ve come to the point where we’re close to reaching our human limits as to the amount of information, data, we can individually process and manage. Soon, our progress might flatten unless a new and radical approach is taken – this is, to me, where AI comes in.

Artificial Intelligence, or Deep Learning, is nothing new – many companies such as Google are using Machine Learning for all kinds of consumer-oriented applications such as Google Maps. Apple made headlines recently when it purchased a small firm specialized in reading people’s facial expressions. But the change is more profound than all that – the Web 3.0 might be a complete redshift of how humanity take the next step. Think of the possibilities:

  • An advanced computer could dynamically and on real-time manage the human resources required for a company to develop a specific service or product
  • An AI algorithm coordinates employees’ working hours every day across companies in one city, to minimize transport and thus pollution across city centers
  • A company uses an AI algorithm to automatically manage its inventory and process POs from suppliers across the World through the web, with no human interaction, based on a number of parameters including overall industry trends, currency exchanges, PMIs, consumer confidence indexes, etc
  • Your personal investments are managed automatically and dynamically by an AI who understands your preferences, investment style, and is constantly scrutinizing the web to know how the markets are reacting and act within milliseconds to maximize your investment
  • An AI algorithm in your smartphone is making real-time investment decisions, purchasing things, and job & household-related decisions to minimize your taxes end of the year. Hey! If you do this vs that you might get a lower 1.75% taxes. Imagine that?
  • And what about an App on your phone that learns your habits and automate things like booking your hairdresser every 4 weeks making a call on your behalf and processing payment to your credit card. Cool isn’t it?

These and many more are just a few tiny examples of how profound the change in our societies can be with the general adoption of AI in our lives. How we allow AI to control and affect our lives should be an open discussion we need to have, where all parties must agree on the limits and usages of this revolutionary technology. Like this small startup in Vancouver that wants to eliminate humans from the dating process by having your AI boot automatically talking to other people’s AI boots without you knowing it. Scared yet?

All this brings incredible potential opportunities to all of us, while it’s frightening to think of the potential misuses of such technology to control our lives.

Entrepreneurs – here’s a monumental opportunity for the one that capitalizes the AI to understand and develop our societies. What a race… who’s ON!?



Photo credit: Bench Accounting