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The New Frontier in Power Redistribution
How AI reshuffles things
Historically, power has been reshuffled and redistributed with each major technological shift. Not long ago, this power balance was tipped in favor of "social media" companies. They were innovative, facilitated previously impossible connections, and dominated the scene by controlling the flow of information.
But that's no longer the case.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as the new game changer. Power in the realm of AI is now gravitating towards established companies with existing user bases, which they can further strengthen and defend using AI. These companies also have the financial might and resources to invest in research and development. A notable exception to this trend is the group of young companies that are staking their claim on entire categories within the AI landscape simply because they were able to spot unique opportunities and capitalize on them earlier than their competitors. Success didn't come overnight; they adapted and leveraged the new wave of technology to their advantage.
Vercel is one such company. Introducing the Vercel AI SDK is a bet on shaping the future of internet browsing experiences, transforming them into an array of chat interfaces. Vercel's strong foothold in the front-end developer market allows it to direct developer attention, and it's currently steering it toward building chat web apps that stream content a la ChatGPT.
The term "social media" needs to be redefined, as traditional social media platforms have evolved beyond their initial mandate. The focus is shifting from connecting the entire planet in real time – a concept that has come to be viewed as flawed – to building smaller, more intimate communities. This change takes the form of group messaging or content creation and consumption experiences, such as streaming, reading, and watching.
This split between messaging and content aligns impeccably with AI's growing prowess at generating text and creating content. Embracing AI to enhance these experiences has become such a vital endeavor that former "social media" companies have no choice but to reinvent themselves as "AI" companies. Consequently, an increasing number of businesses are now being identified as AI companies, harnessing the power of AI to offer a competitive edge in addition to their core products.
This new AI-driven landscape makes the future of work even more intriguing. Companies may soon be defined by whether they have a proprietary AI model, its size, modality(ies), and quality rather than the number of employees or revenue. The same notion also extends to countries. The UAE, for instance, recently launched Falcon as an Open Source project – a Large Language Model trained on 40 billion parameters – under their Technology Innovation Institute (TII) initiative.
The space race of the future may not be a moonshot but rather a competition to develop trillion and quadrillion-parameter models focused on internal knowledge and understanding of the world; and even specific belief systems. And this is how power will continue to be redistributed in the world of AI.