AI could deliver $7 trillion in new economic growth over the next decade, according to news about a report recently issued by Goldman Sachs. Productivity would go way up. So would the value of companies providing or using AI.

Oh yeah, and it could put 300 million people partially or wholly out of work.

But enough about the individual and social impact of AI. Let’s get back to the business opportunity.

A technology called “generative AI” is driving much of the enthusiasm because it enables computer programs to analyze questions and produce eerily human-like answers. The AI isn’t conscious or aware, but it’s perfect for situations in which a set number of queries need to be matched to a set number of responses, followed by prompting a set number of actions.

Those sets can be gigantic, complicated, and the resulting actions diverse. So, the AI can find information, analyze things, make real-time adjustments, and create new content. 

Just think of all the things we do at work that could be reduced (or organized and documented, more accurately) into such situations in which generative AI could take the helm. They include activities we think are just too unique and require our biological brains to accomplish, like writing music and college term papers, diagnosing diseases, and taking the lawyer’s bar exam.

And, even better, it gets smarter over time, so sometime in the future it’ll be able to do anything it can’t do right now.

What will we human beings do instead of what we do now?

We’ll be free to write poetry, shop more easily, and engage in activities we can’t even imagine now. AI will create new jobs, though the few examples we ever hear about involve working in support of AI, like prompt engineers who write text for testing chatbots.

But wait. That AI will keep getting smarter, so all of the above will be automated. AI poetry will be better than ours. It’ll make shopping decisions for us. Those jobs servicing AI will get done better by AI. 

Sorry, humans, nothing to see here. Keep moving.

AI has an “enormous economic potential” if it delivers on its promise, according to the Goldman Sachs research.

It’s an incredible business opportunity. The folks who own the companies that make or use AI will mint money.

All while 300 million people scramble to stay one step ahead of it, chasing some new definitions of work and purpose that nobody has bothered to explain now and are certain to change over time.

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