March 24, 2024

The Rabbit R1 chronicles.

Chapter 14: The death of apps.

Though I’ve never been a fan of Bill Gates, the man certainly is psychic. Many years ago he predicted that future software would be in the cloud and we’d lease it. At the time, software was still delivered on physical discs, you had to buy each update, people were still using 56K, land-line modems and there was no “cloud”, so it just didn’t seem imaginable. Well here we are: We don’t even have slots on our computers to put a disc in anymore. We download our software and lease through a subscription from companies like Microsoft. So when I saw two of Bill’s latest predictions they really caught my eye.

  1. Everyone will have an AI assistant.
  2. Apps are history.

And so enters, Rabbit: the appless AI assistant seemingly for everyone. We can expect this space to grow dramatically with more AI startups and more AI devices similar to Rabbit R1. Indications are that growth in this space will happen at a pace we never imagined.

While it’s said that AI will replace human workers—that’s likely not the case. It’s speculated that 85 million jobs will be lost to AI by 2025. It’s also speculated that by 2030 AI will have created 97 million jobs Those two numbers nearly balance out. It’s always been that humans adapt to technology stealing their jobs. When cars came along every blacksmith didn’t die of starvation, they adapted.

My father was a labor expert. In his memoirs(available free) he wrote back around 1990 “Automation has been around as long as the factory has. Labor history teaches us one thing: You cannot beat technology, you cannot destroy it, you cannot knock it out, you cannot compete with it on a productive level. You just have to learn to work with it and make it serve your purposes.” And AI is automation. Those who learn how to build it and work with it will be the ones who succeed in business tomorrow.

What about the end of apps? AI devices prove that we really don’t need apps: We give a command and AI acts on it through cloud-based services. But what about the job of app developer? Bill Gates also mentions the dawn of agents (which Rabbit calls rabbits). These are smart workflows that AI can do for you. Rabbit’s Learn mode will soon let you train agents to do your bidding. So you show it how to order a pizza through your browser and the next time you want to order, it does it for you through a virtual machine in the cloud. Agents are much simpler than apps, doing a set task (or series of tasks) with a cloud-based service. But just like apps, agents will still likely need humans to write them and developers have this skill.

Rabbit is already planning for a store to sell your own agents that you create through Learn mode to other Rabbit users. I foresee that AI will spawn a big need for custom agents and for helper services designed specifically to work with various AI devices and AI itself. So Bill Gates’ appless future will likely be bright for developers too.

When it comes to something like loss of jobs, one thing to remember is that threats of the demise of personkind have been there since the dawn of personkind. We humans don’t really like change, but when we see change as an opportunity to get ahead, we tend to take advantage of it. And as for the changing job market: As long as there’s a buck to be made, there’ll likely be a human behind the technology that makes it.

Check out the Chronicles.


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