Artificial intelligence (AI) is the fashion of the moment. Everyone talks about it, everyone loves it, and everyone invests in it.. But do we really know what it is and what it can do? AI already helps us with many everyday tasks, but it also has great potential to improve the world. AI has its limitations and risks, and we must not forget that, in the end, we are the ones who create and use it.
For this reason, many investors, companies and governments are betting on this technology and hope that it will be the key to the future. However, sometimes it’s given too much hype and attributes to it that it doesn’t yet have or may never have. This could create a bubble of illusion that can burst at any moment, as happened with Internet companies in the year 2000.
Do you remember when everyone wanted to have a company with a name ending in .com? Since when did the shares of those companies skyrocket without making any profit or meaning? When did everything fall apart and many of those companies disappeared? Well, that was what happened between 1997 and 2000, what is known as the dotcom boom and bubble. It was a time of great hope, but also of much speculation and deception.
Now it seems that we are experiencing something similar with artificial intelligence (AI), that technology that makes machines think and act like humans. AI is transforming many industries and creating new business opportunities. But it’s also generating a lot of anticipation and possible overhyping.
Some say that it is a passing fad that will end up exploding like the dotcoms. Who has the reason? To know this, it is necessary to analyze the similarities and differences between both phenomena, as well as the risks and opportunities that they imply. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible either. The important thing is to have a bit of judgment and not get carried away by the hype or fear.
What do the dotcom boom and the rise of artificial intelligence have in common? Well, more than it seems. Both are technological phenomena that have revolutionized the world and have made many dream of a better future. And also with a richer future. Because both dotcoms and AI have been showered with money from investors, governments and companies that want to take advantage of the momentum and not be left behind. But not all that glitters is gold.
Both dotcoms and AI have suffered from inflation of expectations and valuations that do not correspond to reality. Many companies and projects have been sold as a panacea, but have later turned out to be a bluff or a fiasco. And that has generated a mixture of emotions in the market: from illusion and euphoria to prudence and skepticism. It is best to have a little common sense and not lose sight of the facts.
What’s the difference between the web boom and the rise of artificial intelligence? Well, there are many differences. Making web pages and making machines that think are different things. Artificial intelligence uses more difficult and diverse technology than web pages, which only took advantage of the birth of the internet. Artificial intelligence mixes different types of science and engineering, such as the one that makes a machine learn by itself, the one that allows it to understand what we say or write, the one that gives it eyes to see what is around it or the one that gives arms and legs to move.
In addition, AI is supported by other technologies that have come a long way since the dotcom boom, such as cloud computing, big data, or the Internet of Things. These technologies make it possible to handle and analyze huge amounts of data, which are the fuel of AI. But not everything are advantages. AI also has a dark side that the dotcoms didn’t. AI can affect our privacy, our security, our transparency or our responsibility. AI can create problems and conflicts on how to regulate its use and ensure its benefit to society. PFinally, AI has a greater reach than dotcoms, since it can be applied to almost any sector and activity. From health to education, through industry or services. AI can improve the efficiency, quality and innovation of processes and products. Or at least that’s what its defenders say.
Another thing. AI companies and dotcoms are very different. The AI’s are like responsible adults who know how to generate income and how to work efficiently, while the dotcoms were like babies who didn’t have a clue. The dotcoms ventured to offer services without having a clear monetization or added value strategy. It was as if they were trying to sell air, but without even having a fan. That’s why many didn’t survive, while AI ones continue to advance and improve.
The AI boom has commonalities with the dotcom boom, but also significant differences. A correction or adjustment in the AI market cannot be ruled out, due to overvaluation or failure to meet expectations. However, it cannot be denied that AI is a technology with enormous potential to transform the world and generate opportunities. For this reason, it is important to maintain a balance between optimism and realism, between investment and regulation, between innovation and ethics.
What can we conclude from all this? Well, AI is neither as wonderful nor as terrible as some would have us believe. The AI has points in common with the dotcoms, but also important differences. It is possible that the AI suffers a bump or a stumble in the market, due to speculation or deception. But it is also possible that AI continues to advance and surprise with its applications and its benefits. For this reason, it is best to have a bit of everything: a bit of optimism and a bit of realism, a bit of investment and a bit of regulation, a bit of innovation and a bit of ethics. So we can enjoy AI without suffering its consequences. Or at least we hope so. whatIs it a bubble? In my opinion, not yet.
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