Imagine it’s 1995. The internet is breaking onto the scene.
Fewer than 16 million homes are connected. To access the internet meant buying a home computer and according to the Pew Research Center only 24 million Americans used a home computer in 1995.
And when I say “computer” I don’t mean the tiny laptops everyone uses today. Back then, your average home office looked like this.
Most computers didn’t come with the hardware needed to access the internet. You had to buy that separately. And it didn’t come in a nice little box you could shove in the corner.
Instead, the hardware came in the form of a computer card. After purchasing the correct card for your computer you had to open up the machine, locate the right lot on your motherboard and snap the card into place.
But you aren’t done yet!
This was before the internet ran on coax cable. In 1995 it ran through your phone line. That meant unplugging the house phone and sticking the phone cable into the back of your computer.
But you’re still not done yet!
Now you need software on your computer to turn that high pitched screeching coming through your phone lines into something you computer could understand.
That’s where “America Online” came in.
Between 1993 and 2006 they mailed out more than 1 billion cds of its software for free. Their signature catch phrase “You’ve got mail” became synonymous with the internet.
Now you’re ready. You’ve purchased a home computer, installed the internet modem, plugged in your phone line and you’ve got AOL running. You can finally sit back and surf the web.
There’s just one problem.
In 1995 the internet was little more than a series of chat rooms and a few websites that acted more like a digital filing cabinet than the sites we have today.
All that time and money just to get an occasional email from the 3 other people you knew who had access to the internet.
AI Hysteria Has Gotten Out of Hand
Now imagine you’re living in 1995 and everyone you meet is talking about the future of the internet and telling you “If you’re not online right now you’re falling behind.”
Really? Falling behind? It would take almost a decade before most companies had an online presence. It would be another 5 years after that before anyone understood “internet marketing” well enough to make predicable money online.
So when someone tells you that you need to be immersing yourself in AI or risk “falling behind”, I want you to remember what you read here today.
You’re NOT Falling Behind
Any time a new technology hits the scene there are a wave of early adopters who claim this new technology is going to change the world. Like a street preacher they proclaim, “The end is near!”
Just look at crypto currencies.
How many decades have the Bitcoin apologists been saying that blockchain currency was going to replace the dollar? How many people lost thousands, even tens of thousands on the NFT grift from 2020 – 2021?
Crypto currency may one day replace the current fiat system. NFT’s may one day prove to have some value to the broad economy. My point is, the hysteria is just that. A bunch of people who think they can predict the future proclaiming with certainty that “THE TIME HAS COME!”
The Cost of Development
Has Fallen by 100x
One of the main AI has become the biggest buzz word in business is the falling cost of software development.
The time and expense required to launch a new software product has fallen by 100x over the last 20 years. These days you don’t even need much coding experience thanks to the invention of no-code development software that does most of the heavy lifting for you.
The second developers realized they could tap into existing AI technology to use in their software you saw hundreds of new “AI Powered” tools appear overnight.
The creators of this software claim it will transform your life and business. But if you’ve tried any of these tools you know they never live up to the hype. Most are little more than a gimmick.
AI Has Made Some
Technology a Lot Better
AI has made some great advancements in areas like video editing. Both Premiere Pro and Davinci Resolve now have AI tools that significantly reduce the time it takes to edit video. Object tracking, color grading and subtitles are just a few areas where AI is changing the game for video creators.
But we’re a long way from AI destroying industries. Will it eventually happen? Of course. Technology is constantly killing off old industries. It’s why we don’t have lamp lighters or dry ice delivery anymore.
I don’t think anyone is screaming for us to bring back telephone switchboard operators. Even thought it provided jobs to over 250,000 people at it’s peak.
Your Job is to Know
Which Way the Wind Blows
You’re not “falling behind” if you don’t know everything about the AI and where it’s going. Right now the world of artificial intelligence is like the wild west. And everyone is out to make a quick buck off the hysteria.
It’s in everyone’s best interest to make you feel like you need to be devoting time and money to testing every new piece of junk software that hits the market.
Don’t fall victim to the fear and frenzy you see online. Instead, become a casual observer and student of this new world. Read an engage while understanding that AI is in early development. Much like the internet in 1995.
I think AI has the potential to have a bigger impact on our lives and economy than anything that came before it. But what form it takes and how long it takes for us to get there is a mystery to everyone.
What you don’t want to do is put your head in the sand believing if you ignore the changing winds it won’t affect you. The only constant in life is that it never stays the same. Your job is to make sure you always know where the wind is blowing so you can guide your ship through whatever storms may come your way.
Until next week dear captain,