The next Big Thing

According to Confucius, only the wisest and the most stupid cannot change. There have been some very successful changes in recent history; such as the invention of the printing press, the steam pump, penicillin, radio, television, internet, smartphones, electric cars – the list goes on. There have also been some recent ones that started off with a bang but lost steam, like medical marijuana and fake meat. And then there are some on which the jury is still out, like blockchain and Bitcoin.

Currently, the next big thing making headlines is Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is not new; you have been exposed to it for some time, via your internet searches, spell check, Netflix and YouTube suggestions, and so on. What is new, however, is the race developing between major technology companies like Microsoft, Google and Baidu for supremacy of the new, enhanced AI called “chatbots”.

A chatbot can literally answer any question you ask it. Communication with a chatbot is verbal, so you can ask it how to bake an apple pie and it will give you detailed instructions; or you can ask it to write you a CV for a job application as an estate agent and it will do so. Microsoft has invested heavily in Open AI, the company that created ChatGPT, and use it in their chatbot “Bing”. Google, on the other hand, unveiled their latest chatbot called “Bard”, and after Bard gave an inaccurate reply to a test question, Google’s share price tanked 8%. China is not far behind in this race and their internet giant Baidu will unveil their chatbot soon. Chatbots are the new generation internet assistants and will replace things like Siri and Alexa.

It is believed that AI will materially change how we do things. Microsoft, Google and Nvidia are the best ways to obtain exposure to AI for the general investor and chatbots will soon be as indispensable as your smartphone.

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