If you’re into artificial intelligence, you’ve probably heard of ChatGPT. When we first saw this latest version back in November 2022, it definitely raised our eyebrows. It does some incredible things and holds a lot of promise in a variety of ways.

But hold on, we’re not there yet.

We know that Microsoft previously invested $1 billion in OpenAI and has just added another $10 billion (makers of ChatGPT). ChatGPT is using the Microsoft Azure platform. We know that 1 million users registered in the first week (mind boggling when you compare the uptake of other platforms) and saw its valuation jump to almost $30 billion. Watch for a lot more AI coming soon to Microsoft’s applications. We also know that this AI real, as you can use it for yourself right now.

Everyone is wondering what this sort of AI will mean for their lives and jobs in the future, and when the impact will be felt.

As an avid watcher of tech, my take is that we are now entering the “knowledge age” replacing the “information age”. “IT” is changing to “KT”.

Being able to make sense out of information is knowledge and there is nothing artificial about that. Wisdom comes next as the AI’s experience deepens to reach its highest impact. Who knows what comes beyond that. 

This type of AI will be everywhere and will most likely have an impact on most jobs. Actually, knowledge-based jobs may be at risk for the first time. Do you know about robot lawyers like DoNotPay? It’s already here, and it’s just getting started.

Developers could be the biggest winners or losers because the tool can help them cut their programming time in half or develop at 10X speed. Perhaps we don’t need as many programmers.

It’s so cool to search with ChatGPT that it’s chilling (especially to Google – but do not worry too much about Google because they also have some serious AI). You can ask ChatGPT anything and it will respond quite appropriately. You can keep asking questions, and it will keep drilling down. You don’t have to sift through piles of ads and content designed to sell stuff like you do with current Google search. You’ve probably heard the adage that if you’re not on Google’s first page of results, you’re dead. There is only one page search results with ChatGPT.

Ask ChatGPT if it will replace Google and see what answer you get.

The next big technology is obviously AI, but I think most people believe that AI will be something that’s far in the future. Unfortunately, most people underestimate how quickly it is accelerating. We are most likely on the verge of AI’s exponential growth.

Buckle up. Hold on. Remain calm.

For many years, I have been a student of AI as a news publisher and enthusiast. I have spoken with a number of companies that are developing or utilizing AI. Most people understand how it can be used, but they probably did not expect something like ChatGPT to be here already, as this is a sure sign that things are about to get crazy.

There will be several major players with AI platforms like ChatGPT. It’s costly and requires a lot of computing power. When quantum computing becomes affordable, the game may change yet again. A layer of vertical market solutions leveraging AI will sit on top of these foundational AI platforms (think of the robot lawyer). Then there will be a third layer where developers can infuse AI to add more functionality to various applications. These three layers are probably how AI will proliferate in the future. Who knows how AI powered robots and drones will fit into this equation! We are already seeing what’s happening with automobiles. 

Most channel partners do not develop AI, but the vendors they sell are incorporating more AI into their solutions. This sort of AI will assist channel partners in delivering technologies that will increase productivity and accuracy by reducing human intervention. What AI will do to applications is going to be off the charts. 

Imagine the AI learning what you do with applications so it can serve up what you need at the right time. Imagine AI helping you to complete your work and suggesting better options. Imagine AI reducing half of your workload while improving its accuracy. Imagine AI automatically updating your calendar to follow up with the client after it sends the proposal (that it helped to produce) and, prompting you when it is time or actually completing the follow up email and sending it for you with just one command. Some of this is already happening with less powerful AI! 

Do not be surprised if the traditional tools that channel partners are currently using are overtaken by a new set of AI-powered tools. I remember a company called Crushbank used Watson to help MSPs streamline operations several years ago, before ChatGPT started. What used to take years may now be able to be completed in a fraction of the time.

The Knowledge Age has arrived, and if you do not want to be left behind, you must board the train before it speeds up. Begin by learning. If there is one group of people on the planet who can understand and use AI the best, it is the tech community.

Don’t wait for governments to regulate. They are late to the game as usual. AI has no boundaries. Some countries are looking to require all AI generated content to be identified and tagged with the source, but how easy will that be to work around. “Don’t believe everything you see with your own eyes” may be the slogan of the future.

Our most recent venture, the Cybersecurity Defense Ecosystem, will make extensive use of artificial intelligence. Most cybersecurity vendors are already infusing a lot of AI into their solutions. Actually automation is probably the most effective way to defend against cyber attacks and AI is the brains behind automation.

Many people are afraid of artificial intelligence. Many people believe that artificial intelligence will eventually replace or destroy humans. Many people are unsure what AI truly means for humanity. As in what happens when an all-knowing AI is implanted into a robot and set loose. I share some of these concerns, but I also recognize that AI is the new reality, and we must learn it well in order to have a fighting chance of controlling it before it controls us (Is the Terminator coming?). Remember that there are mad people out there who will seek out the dark uses of AI. Today, we see that clearly manifesting itself in cyber attacks, which may be a prelude of what’s to come.

Channel partners and vendors will be heavily impacted by AI infused technologies in many ways so the best advice is to start learning to stay ahead of the curve before your business becomes marginalized.