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AI could usher in new a 'industrial revolution'

Fifteen years ago, CST delivered a predication about the ‘gap years’ that would continue for some time hence.  Due specifically to technologic change slowing from the previous intense changes in the years from 1980’s through to early 2000’s.  These were mainly based on the development of personal computers, networking and the internet.  These provided nearly all businesses with significant gains in efficiencies, and made replaced some industries such as printing almost completely.

This predication has proven correct.  We have seen efficiency stagnation across many industries since the early 2000's which has led to some of the current issues with falling economic and living standards across the world including the UK.  Technology has moved forward during this time, but most of the efficiency gains have been horded by a few high tech companies – mainly the FANGS.  The creation in 2007 of the iphone has provided changes in personal communications and new industries such as the online social media companies – but efficiencies from these are not widely distributed across the wider industries.  One could argue that such new social media has led to a decrease in business efficiency generally, as this new tech has impacted on people’s personal time, and not necessarily for the better.  Also during this period, as the world has attempted to limit the use of fossil fuels, costs have risen in many industries.

In 2023, for the first time since this predication, CST see’s a new technology that has the ability to create widespread change and a massive increase in efficiency for many industries.  This of course has been led by AI - by OpenAI with their ChatGPT.  Like many historic changes, this has seemed abrupt, rising up from many years research and development to hit the world stage running and creating a significant presence within just a few weeks and months.  Google and others have been quick to follow, bringing their research based systems to market in extra quick, (probably too quick).

We can now expect this AI technology to move fast, perhaps very fast, as the likes of Microsoft and Google have understood that the next tech revolution is going to be designed around this technology and they are fighting to become the leaders.

CST has created a future view of where this technology may help in specific industries, see: How the AI revolution will roll out.  But there is now a good chance that AI will become fully integrated into robotic devices that also do ‘real life manual tasks’.   While this will take time to integrate into robotic systems, the outcome we predict will be the ‘smart robot’ that CST has often discussed.

We can consider this new technology as not just a step change for humans, but like the Stream Train, it has the possibility not just to create efficiency but change the very fabric of our world.  The train’s introduction within a few short years allowed people an industries to expand at an exponential rate.  Towns become cities and economics went global almost overnight.  A factory did not need to be based where it sold its wares any longer, mass production followed as certainly as the train puffed smoke.

This AI tech is based on learning ‘neural networks’, similar in concept to our own brains, then its abilities are potentially endless.  With the continuing rise in computer efficiencies and wide integration, in time, it clearly has the potential to replace all human work activity.  It is of course potentially extremely dangerous too – the ‘Terminator’ has moved out of the closet and we could smell him if he were human.  How societies will attempt to limit this danger will become a sport in itself, sit back and enjoy the ride.

From Mind the Gap to Disruption:

We are likely to move from the gap years into the disruptive years – as industries take up this new tech, but the rewards from improving efficiencies are not spread widely across the public.  Many jobs will be lost, but it is likely, (as usual), that governments will be slow to see that fundamental changes to the ‘social contract’ are required to spread these efficiencies across the ‘workforce’.  How long these disruptive years last will be significant to the outcome for creating a resilient and overall efficient economy.

So, perhaps we are on the start of the next journey for humankind.  This new AI tech should allow humans to significantly reduce the ‘man in the loop’ in many industries world-wide within the foreseeable future.  This kicks-off our long stated observation for the radical change in economic principals and how we re-organise our societies to take advantage, or perhaps put our head in the sand and cause yet more unnecessary suffering for the masses.




Mind the Gap

– An update -

April 2023

Fifteen years ago, CST delivered a predication about the ‘gap years’ that would continue for some time hence.

With the emerging AI systems, we now expect to see a step change for human endeavour, ending these 'gap years.'

Is this the current generations 'time of the steam train' where we see massive disruption to our industries & working practices, and where we see new possibilities for the way we live.