Humanity is always progressing.
However the progression is not linear. We tend to experience periods of apparent slow progression in technology, followed by sudden explosions of innovation and growth.
This is nothing new.
We have had in recent history:
- the agricultural age,
- the industrial age
- and most recently, the information age.
Each time we enter these new eras, society changes drastically.
I am here to argue that we have recently entered a new age, an age which I am coining as "The creation age".
If you are in any doubt whether we are entering a new age, just look at ChatGPT.
2 months to reach 100 million users.
But not only is the growth explosive, it is utilising a "new" technology and embracing it...AI.
Now I say "new" as AI has been around for decades. The idea of a computer being intelligent is something that humans have considered for decades, even centuries.
But where this is different to previous AI implementations is in adoption and acceptance.
People are using AI regularly in their day to day lives, more importantly they are actively using it (not being at the mercy of it or passively using it, as is the case with feed algorithms and search engine results).
This shift is monumental, I am just not sure many people realise just how significant it is.
A new age occurs when there is a rapid shift in society, often directly linked to an advancement in technology.
The agricultural age meant that food scarcity was far less of an issue (in the developed world), and food abundance (or should I say efficiency in production) meant that more time (across the population as a whole) could be spent on other pursuits other than farming.
Then came the industrial age, where analogue machines replaced a lot of manual labour. This allowed us to produce far more as a society with fewer people hours, yet again changing valuable skill sets.
Most recently we had the information age. An age where people from around the world were able to share knowledge almost instantaneously and at next to zero cost. An age where information was no longer localised, resulting in rapid globalisation.
And now we enter a new age.
An age where "digital brains" are able to produce content at a decent level, comparable to that of an average human, in certain specialised disciplines.
Artists are being displaced by AI image generators. Copywriters are soon going to be replaced by machines that write copy for them etc. etc.
But more importantly, as with any change of age, more can be produced with less resources.
One individual can now produce the same as 3 people could, and this will only accelerate.
Also the skills required change.
For example: I no longer need to spend years perfecting my skills as an artist, instead I need to spend time perfecting my skills at prompting and adjusting the output of AI, at curating the output to meet my needs.
I need to be creative in a different way, but in a way that has a much lower barrier to entry and a much shallower and shorter learning curve.
This is what heralds a new age.
A shift in how society values skills, an increase in output and a great shift that results in new opportunities. A shift that results in old skills and old businesses no longer being as relevant, or even being replaced by those that can operate at the new required scale.
It is quite simple really, each age is defined by the key characteristic that drove societal change.
Farming for the agricultural age, factories and production at scale (industry) for the industrial age, the internet (dissemination of information at reduced cost and increased speed and scale) for the information age.
The age of AI is going to result in creation at an unprecedented scale.
AI can write music (reasonably well), create art (pretty well), write a poem (well) and is already make great strides in video editing, video creation and more.
AI takes previous computation (generation of data sets for example) and can create new visualisations, new analysis, new perspectives and even more variations of data and dare I say even new data.
The very core of any AI is to take some inputs and generate something "new" from them, sometimes in a very rigid way (such as data analysis), and sometimes with an element of chaos (AKA "creativity") in the form of art or literature etc.
But it is more than that. Humans have finally created something that is capable of "creating"...albeit at a very simple level.
And AI can do something that we cannot.
It can create at a huge scale.
We are confined by our physical form to have only so much creative ability due to the limited processing power of the human brain.
AI does not have the same limitations, and although it may not think like us, or have the same breadth of skill, it can specialise in something and work at a much faster rate.
Want more output? It can just utilise more computing power (up to current technical, energy and physical space limitations of course).
When a new age arrives, society adapts.
Old jobs and skills become less relevant and valuable. New jobs and skills become more valuable and relevant.
Tools and processes emerge that further increase the productivity of an individual. Those who embrace and utilise those tools flourish, those who refuse to adapt tend to fall behind.
This was just a random thought I wanted to share.
Do you believe we are entering a new age / era?
Do you think society will change rapidly over the next few years? Or do you believe that AI will change very little?
I would love to hear your thoughts! 💗