Thematic Take

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Cyrus Mewawalla, Head of Thematic Intelligence, GlobalData

Foreword: adequate AI is already here 

At GlobalData, we define a theme as any issue that keeps a business leader awake at night.

Companies are impacted by multiple themes that frequently conflict with one another. What is needed is an effective methodology that reflects, understands, and reconciles these conflicts. Our thematic research ecosystem is a single, integrated global research platform that provides an easy-to-use framework for tracking all themes across all companies in all sectors.

Viewing the world’s data by themes makes it easier to make critical decisions. Companies that invest in the right themes become success stories. Those that miss the essential themes in their industry end up as failures.

For decades artificial intelligence (AI) has primarily been the territory of university and corporate R&D labs. Recent progress in machine learning (ML) on the back of improved algorithms (e.g., OpenAI’s GPT-4) and increasing computing power have made it possible for AI to solve real-life problems. In the coming decade, the country that emerges on top in AI will lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

Despite the hype, artificial general intelligence (AGI), or the ability of machines to do anything that a human can and possess consciousness, is still decades away. However, ‘good enough’ AI is already here, capable of interacting with humans, motion, and making decisions. For example, ChatGPT can write original prose and chat with human fluency, DeepMind's algorithms can beat the best human chess players, and Boston Dynamics' Atlas robots can somersault. If this evolution continues, it could upend the labor-based capitalist economic model.