Microsoft’s Copilot Hurls Us Into the Future
Zero hype, zero bullshit: A thousand years from now today’s Microsoft “Copilot” announcement will be rememembered as a tech tipping point on par with the Gutenberg Press, TV, Internet, or iPhone. Check it out!
Seamless integration between GPT-4+ and apps, services, and search will transform our lives in ways we’re only now beginning to understand. The revolution is already here, and it’s breathtaking and glorious.
What’s particularly fascinating to me today is how quickly all this is rolling out, and the extent to which much of this technology has already existed, essentially waiting for the adoption curve to catch up.
Remember Ask Jeeve’s and Alta Vista? MySpace? Friendster? How about Skype? Search, social media, video conferencing, these technologies have been around for decades, as has, more or less, AI and machine learning.
But capabilities alone don’t bring about a tech revolution. User behaviors need to adapt, and through their adaptation, the capabilities improve, too. The positive feedback loop needs a spark, and today’s spark is ChatGPT.
In other words, early tech teases only a few early adopters, and people change their habits slowly. But once critical mass is reached, usually suddenly, the masses leap on it, and the tech exponentially improves, too.
That’s happened again, this time with the practical application of artificial intelligence. The actual change didn’t come from a sentient HAL 9000, but from a token-driven clever chatbot, and API plug-ins to the MS office suite.
A new, trillion dollar industry is being forged in front of our faces, in real time, propelled by the utility of performing simple tasks, not the mimickry of human consciousness. ChatGPT and Copilot are smart MS Clippies.
Lesson for tech: Revolution doesn’t come from an ostensibly cool idea you force on users (hello, Zuckerberg and failed Meta), but from immediate practical benefit provided by useful tools that people love to embrace.
What an amazing paradigm shift to witness! We’re at a tipping point as significant as when Tim Berners-Lee created hypertext mark up language and the Web was born. And the revolution has only just begun…