Over the last 200 years, three exponential technologies, electricity, the telephone, and the internal combustion engine, rapidly and completely transformed life on earth. Today, four new exponential innovations are simultaneously mainstreaming; AI, edge computing, quantum computing and nanotechnology. This immeasurably complex, entangled system will generate a rapid, far-reaching total transformation of the socio-technical systems that form our civilization, impacting everything; national economies, communications and transportation networks, infrastructure, healthcare systems, industry, supply chains, and cities.
Government and business leaders, and fund managers, despite their vast wealth and power, lack the systems needed to decode this complexity, to precision target, and value their investments. Venture capital developed during the 1960s and 1970s, for another time and technology class, remains fundamentally, unscientific spread-betting, based largely on ‘gut feel’. The power dynamics of the Silicon Valley oligopoly conceal a poorly performing asset class. Returns are far weaker than lower-risk asset classes like private equity. Unprecedented liquidity has created a valuation bubble; studies indicate that the majority of private technology stocks have excessive valuations, with an estimated US$ 1 trillion of subprime paper valuation in the market. Most corporate VCs deliver negative returns. Most corporate innovation and M&A fail to yield the value it anticipated.
Billions are lost each year in this bubble-prone, chaotic and inefficient market. And things are about to get a lot more complicated. The technical convolution of the Sixth Wave is way beyond the analytical grasp of even the brightest minds. Which is where AI comes in.