The Second Coming of IT

For a generation before we thought of “technology companies” as Google and Facebook, there was a long era of IT, or “information technology.” During this era, technology was an unglamorous industry that made businesses more effective. Consumers didn’t touch it.

I believe that machine learning and AI are bringing us to a second IT phase, where the most exciting developments will become powerful tools for businesses but, in most cases, little more than promise for consumers.

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But employees and companies will face big challenges in this IT age. Until we get to the next pure tech era, employees will see more competition for fewer jobs. While technology companies will benefit from the growth, they won’t garner the power or financial upside they had in the last direct-to-consumer age.

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Shaunak Khire, Mars Cyrillo and 3 others commented on this article.
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It is one thing for businesses to get leverage in decision-making through access to data, compute and good algorithms. It is quite another for those technologies to be fully developed enough to enter prime-time consumer use.