How AI will change everything on the internet

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, Washington Post reprint here, and yes people this is for real.  Here is one excerpt:

Change is coming. Consider Twitter, which I use each morning to gather information about the world. Less than two years from now, maybe I will speak into my computer, outline my topics of interest, and somebody’s version of AI will spit back to me a kind of Twitter remix, in a readable format and tailored to my needs.

The AI also will be not only responsive but active. Maybe it will tell me, “Today you really do need to read about Russia and changes in the UK government.” Or I might say, “More serendipity today, please,” and that wish would be granted.

I also could ask, “What are my friends up to?” and I would receive a useful digest of web and social media services. Or I could ask the AI for content in a variety of foreign languages, all impeccably translated. Very often you won’t use Google, you will just ask your question to the AI and receive an answer, in audio form for your commute if you like. If your friends were especially interested in some video clips or passages from news stories, those might be more likely to be sent to you.

In short, many of the current core internet services will be intermediated by AI. This will create a fundamentally new kind of user experience.

It is unlikely that the underlying services will vanish. People will still Google things, and people will still read and write on their Facebook pages. But more will move directly to the AI aggregator. This dynamic is already happening: When was the last time you asked Google for directions? They exist online, of course, but if you’re like me, you just use Google maps and GPS directly. You have in effect moved to the information aggregator.

Or consider blogs, which arguably peaked between 2001 and 2012. Then Twitter and Facebook became aggregators of blog content. Blogs are still numerous, but many people get access to them directly through aggregators. Now that process is going to take another step — because the current aggregators will themselves be aggregated and organized, by super-smart forms of machine intelligence.

The world of ideas will be turned upside down. Many public intellectuals excel at promoting themselves on Twitter and other social media, and those opportunities may diminish. There will be a new skill — promoting oneself to the AI — of a still unknown nature.

Of course there is more at the links above.  I could have written a much longer column of course.  Just imagine asking the service of your choice for “a Tyler take” or “an Alex take.”  Solve for the whole equilibrium!  Many more institutions are aggregators than you might at first think…


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