Artificial intelligence (AI) is an old idea. But a broad set of important technologies is emerging, which big data, cloud computing, and computing have enabled. AI is a liberatory technology at its core, and businesses that integrate it will free workers to become more innovative, creative, and adaptive than ever before. But these technologies are still in early stages.
The acceleration of innovations in the 21st century have ever more uses. Artificial Intelligence, robotics, automation, sensor technology and big data are examples of this phenomenon. The boundaries between industries and sectors are stretching and changing beyond recognition. Supply chains are integrating into new intertwined business models which deliver smart cities, smart health, smart finance, intelligent houses.
The pace of scientific and technological advance is accelerating; in particular, there are likely to be as many transformative so-called general purpose technologies (GPTs) introduced in the twenty first century as over the past five hundred years. Examples of GPTs from the past and present include printing, steam power, electrification, mass-production, the Internet and many others. General purpose technologies including AI and cognition are the ultimate in economic creative destruction – they create and destroy industries and business models, remake markets and our lives, and they overturn the established corporate order.