Archimede bust
Artificial Intelligence

AI & Archimedes Lever

“Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”

Archimedes

Over the next 20 years I believe we will see a superclass of professionals and companies emerge who have equipped themselves with digital exoskeletons. And by that, I mean AI systems.

We’ve seen this pattern many time before. The work crew retires shovels for bulldozers and backhoes. The military unit retires horses for tanks. The chef retires the manual grinder for an electric one. The factory owner retires custom made cars for assembly line produced cars.

This next step with people and firms upgrading themselves with AI is only natural. Except that it has not occurred yet across the board.

What happens when the right law firm partners with the right tech talent to produce a SaaS law engine that evaluates contracts, wills, lawsuits, and other legal proceedings 100X faster than other humans, and 90% cheaper than a traditional law firm? They become a super firm.

What happens when the an incredibly talented general practitioner does the same thing, and augments their office with an AI system that replicates their style of high-end care and diagnosis experience at a fraction of the cost?

Or, will the AI companies work to extract the domain knowledge from the professional service providers and then maintain the powerful system themselves? Either way a very few groups will offer incredible value of service to billions of people at a fraction of traditional costs.

Many services are about to be commoditized over the next 100 years much like manufactured goods have been commoditized over the past 200 years.

How many local weavers do you know? How many local potters or candle makers?

Clothes, ceramics, and candles have been flying out of giant factories for decades. We haven’t had commercial artisans for those products in a very long time within our local towns in the USA (hobbyists sure, but not people making a living making candles in every town).

Factories severed the link between the local artisan, and his or her town. A factory is a systematized operation setup to produce physical goods at the intersection of low cost and speed. We as a society are very good at commoditizing physical goods with the factory model.

Artificial Intelligence systems will be more than a factory for data.

Modern database powered applications are similar to factories for data. We are able to streamline, systematize, and standardized the flow of data from business unit to business unit. We’ve used database systems for decades. These are essentially the pipes and gears of the factory. We humans still evaluate the data, create the data, push the data, approve the data, and are heavily involved with the data within our systems. We are the creative energy that gives life to a database powered system.

However, AI begins to blur this line. We can begin to rely upon a new creative energy to classify data, organize data, approve data, evaluate data, and even create new data & ideas.

I have used AI to write code. One day soon programmers will need to operate at a much higher level of semantic though. Syntax is going to become a lesser concern.

AI systems that are managed and fine-tuned by world class teachers, programmers, doctors, lawyers, accountants, and other professionals will inevitably replace millions of professionals of average talent.

I do believe that one-day soon we’ll be as hard pressed to find a local lawyer or a local accountant that performs 100% of their work much in the same way we no longer find local weavers or candlemakers.

AI is a lever that will give the talented professionals a tremendous advantage. Much like Archimedes, they will soon know that this lever is long enough for them to move the world. But first it will be a race to who holds the levers.

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