Original article was published by Madhav Kunal on Artificial Intelligence on Medium
Dawn of a New Computing Era, The Fifth Wave of Computing, Technological Singularity, Nvidia’s Arm Acquisition
According to the World Economic Forum, in 2020 the entire digital universe has reached 44 Zetabytes of Data. For perspective, that is 40 times more bytes than there are stars in the observable universe. And it is just at the beginning.
The Internet of Things (IoT) and an explosion in mobile devices, smart connected devices from smartphones to smartwatches and autonomous vehicles as well as social networks and digital transformation is creating a world in which people can know anything, anywhere, anytime. This on-demand culture is truly mindboggling and insane.
We live like Gods today compared to our ancestors. And the technology we possess is godlike. The world is changing so fast that people no longer understand the world we live in anymore and the world we are rapidly entering. Software is not just eating the world, it’s swallowing entire industries whole and creating different industries overnight. Understanding the rate of change itself in digital technologies and the infotechnology revolutions is SO Important. Because it has been, is and will continue to be responsible for rapid societal, political and economic change for better or worse.
Today’s millennials and younger generations are used to technology and are digital natives. But even many of them can’t keep up. We are living in a fully hyperconnected and digital world and the implications of this change is MASSIVE. This is why industry experts don’t even know what the future looks like. Because things are changing so fast that there are terms being thrown around such as the 4th Industrial Revolution, Industry 4.0 and Industry X.0.
The implications of billions of people having access to the world’s information at their fingertips is massive. The implications are multi-dimensional and the older ways of politics, society, economics stop functioning in the face of this type of exponential change. When things change so fast, so hard, it becomes impossible to figure out the rules and even to agree on how society or business or consumerism or entrepreneurship or regulation should work in the digital age. We are especially seeing this mass confusion on how to progress from all levels as individuals, teams, to tribes, companies, governments and nations, or as a society, and civilization even during the pandemic era where not only is covid upending societies, but where digital transformation is also simulataneously accelerating.
One thing is for sure, however. The hyperconnected and hyper-technological world that is being built by the second has MASSIVE implications and the future is being created faster than ever.
Check out what Arm CEO Simon Segars had to say at Arm TechCon 2019 about 5G, the 5th Wave of Computing and the Trillion Device World. Simon Segars predicts that by 2035, 1 Trillion Smart Devices will be connected through 5G Networks and the IoT and Marcelo Claure, COO of SoftBank says that these hyperspeed networks and new computing world will create $11 Trillion of Economic Value this decade.
“The Fifth Wave of Computing will revolutionize how we use data. The IoT will gather it more abundantly, AI will process it more intelligently and 5G will distribute it faster and with higher capacity. When the Fifth Wave of Computing reaches full maturity, it will drive learning and AI inference everywhere.” — Simon Segars (CEO of Arm)
Masayoshi Son, the founder and CEO of SoftBank believes that we are approaching the technological singularity as these digital technologies start to accelerate at an unfathomable pace resulting in massive transformations to human civilization at an increasing pace. I would say we have had several inflection points with new breakthrough technologies such as the iPhone a culmination of Steve Jobs legendary work at Apple, which brought ubiquitous mobile computing, something that transformed human civilization and something we take for granted. However, when we have advanced Artificial Intelligence (Artificial General Intelligence, Artificial Super Intelligence) and Brain Computer Interfaces, which I believe we will have this decade, I believe we will truly reach the technological singularity and a transhuman, sci-fi fantasy future.
Jensen Huang, the founder/CEO of Nvidia also shares a similar vision of our accelerated computing, cloud connected, AI driven, robotic full-service future.
What happened with Amazon, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other tech giant’s rise in the last few decades will pale in comparison to what happens in the next few decades. Entire markets, industries and companies will be built and wiped out OVERNIGHT. The competition has not even started yet. Because as we move from a scarcity-based economy to an abundance-based economy where we can have anything and everything we want on-demand for basically free, the transition has tremendous implications across the board. The rules of how EVERYTHING worked in the past now CEASE to function as the pace of technological change explodes at an exponential rate.
It’s not just that there are technologies that exist separately but that many exponential technologies are starting to converge and many societal, economic and political conversations are also starting to converge. Globalization, Technological Disruption and Capitalism are now on Steroids as our society ironically shifts to something completely unimaginable.
Now, I believe that Jensen Huang, Simon Segars and Masayoshi Son the respective technology megacorp CEOs of Nvidia, Arm and SoftBank share the same collective techno-utopian vision of our future. It is very tough to not believe their vision as well, and I must admit that I am also a Singularitarian. Because the growth rates of the technologies they are investing in and driving forward are very steep. It may not seem like the world is technologically transforming too much on a day to day basis if you have a linear perception of the world, but if you take a broader and more exponential view of the world with a longer time horizon, you start to realize the “biblical” growth of the hi-tech and computing industries and the evolution of digital technologies and digital transformation which is behind so much of the engineering, and IT marvels of our modern world.
We are on the brink of several revolutions playing out throughout several industries simultaneously driven by accelerating digital transformation, advances in computing infrastructure, market disruptions because of the coronavirus pandemic and significant changes in human behavior because of increasing reliance on and usage of computing platforms, devices and networks.
There have been so many interesting developments playing out, that it’s impossible to keep track of everything and even process most of this because, everything is changing so rapidly. However, many of these changes will drive permanent transformations throughout industries and business and technological transformation and disruptions are only increasing in scope, pace and speed.
The most agile will dominate in this brave new world and increasingly digitalized economy. And that’s why I find Nvidia’s Arm Acquisition so fascinating, particularly at times like this. Because it represent’s not just Nvidia’s ambitious plans for global domination of computing, but also represent’s the transition to the type of world, society, and economy that we are entering. One that is not only more disruptive, innovative, but one that is also unforgiving to those who are unable to adapt to changing markets and changing technologies.
Nvidia may seem like just a geeky computer hardware company that is building Artificial Intelligence solutions, however, I believe that Nvidia and it’s Founder/CEO’s Jensen Huang’s grandplans are much more audacious than it may seem on the surface. Yes, Nvidia is into GPUs however, it is quickly expanding into vertical after vertical and becoming what I believe is a Full-Stack IoT Giant. Nvidia’s control of GPUs, Artificial Intelligence Platforms, and acquisiton of Arm for its semiconductors are just more and more vertically and horizontally integrated moves for its ultimatum. Complete domination of the Computing Industry and everything that drives the computing industry from cloud computing, to edge computing, to data centers, to networking, autonomous vehicles, gaming, robotics, and more. Nvidia is actively trying to control its entire distribution of integrated AI hardware and software.
The moves it (Nvidia) is making right now along with every other technology, social media, and telecommunications giants (EG. SoftBank, Arm, T-Mobile, Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon, Tesla, Twitter) for the control of these future industries are brilliant. By aiming to control the entire infrastructure, distribution, network and IP of Information Technology, these companies are growing their horizons into complete monopolization and domination for the technologies that will run the world from autonomous vehicles, smarthomes, smart cities, data centers, cloud computing, CPUs, GPUs, semiconductors, 5G Networks, trillions of sensors. These companies all focus from first principles on controlling how businesses and societies will run in the future.
Depending on your perspective, this may seem like a technological and societal dystopia, utopia or somewhere in between. However, this is here and this is now. Companies who can control how the digital and virtual worlds run, will effectively run the world. And as we approach the 2020s, companies such as Nvidia are looking to capitalize on the fifth wave of computing.