back to article Intel CEO suggests AI can help to create a one-person Unicorn

In his Intel Vision Keynote on Tuesday CEO Pat Gelsinger outlined a scenario in which AI will eventually automate entire offices – or potentially even whole businesses. He described this as the age of AI functions, in which agents – think highly tuned, application-specific models – start to interact with other agents to …

  1. ArrZarr Silver badge
    Terminator

    Generating business reports with AI

    Having had the misfortune of working with clients, I'm pretty certain that the constant flow "Could you change this" questions from somebody with too much self-importance and an MBA will be the thing that tips AIs over the edge into Destroy All Humans modes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Generating business reports with AI

      One of the things that happens when one gets an MBA is they do a brain operation on you that removes the part that generates original thoughts and replace it with lemming brain material.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Generating business reports with AI

        So, just like an AI?

        1. TheWeetabix Bronze badge

          Re: Generating business reports with AI

          Well no, you see... The difference is:

          1. An AI will just plain lie to you when.... never mind.

          2. An AI only *pretends* to understand what it's talking.... never mind

          3. An AI costs *far* more to train than you'll ever.... never mind

          4. AI can sometimes bring up inapprop.... never mind.....

          Alright, it appears yes, middle management and project managers can be replaced with AI.

    2. NeilPost

      Re: Generating business reports with AI

      They are going to need a pretty large Golgafrinchan Ark Fleet Ship B.

      Hopefully the MBA’s will be amongst the first on it.

  2. Headley_Grange Silver badge

    There's a whole chunk missing: how will the economy work? Given that millions of people will be out of work, is the "Unicorn" model based on goods and services being provided for free or will people be given free money to spend? AIs aren't free; even discounting the development and learning costs, the power consumption is massive. If so few people are working then the tax take will drop so will the Unicorns pay all the tax? I really am at a loss to understand how they think this will work. We don't see the current crop of tech bros philanthropically sharing their rewards - indeed they are trying to increase/consolidate their wealth and power - so is there any reason to think that any of the AI "pioneers" are seeing a future where they share out the resulting wealth?

    To me this feels just like the bloke who builds a boat in his garden without thinking about how to get it to the sea and when he'll have time to sail it. All the focus is on the boat at the moment.

    1. toomanylogins

      Redistribution

      The fall incomes from those made redundant will provide the return on capital for the Ai investment. A radical alternative would be for Gov's to make employing people less expensive by moving taxation to spending and not employment.

    2. ChoHag Silver badge

      > To me this feels just like the bloke who builds a boat in his garden without thinking about how to get it to the sea and when he'll have time to sail it. All the focus is on the boat at the moment.

      I think there's a story in some old books about a guy who did that in defiance of his neighbours' ridicule and it turned out alright when there was a bit of a downpour.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And he didn't take unicorns with him.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          He forgot. Minor slip up.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        This story won't end that well

        Neither will pouring billions from the CHIPS act into these fools. The next decade at Intel looks to be a continuation of the decline of the last decade. It's a poor investment to chase the hype of fake AI and prop up the fabs of a company that neglected their engineering till they lost a 3-5 year technical lead. This money will mostly be siphoned off in kickbacks, executive pay, and stock buybacks, the rest will be wasted due to mismanagement.

        They will come rattling their begging bowl in 5 years time asking for another bailout due to "unforeseen cost overruns and delays". And the same again 5 years after that.

        Acting in our own interests, we should buy Intel out, take it private, gut the management team and board for being shortsighted, self serving weasels, then pour a little money into it and turn it around. After that we can sell it back to Wall Street and put the proceeds into the social security so people can retire before 85.

        But that would be breaking the rules...

    3. DoubleDeckers

      I don't think anyone has any answers to these questions.

      They are shooting themselves in the foot aiming for AGI. With everyone out of work, they won't get be able to recover all the investment they've made.

      Even if we end up with a "universal basic income" or similar, what happens to everyones acquired wealth and status, we all just stick with what we've got when AI took over everything?

      I think this is different to the industrial revolution and other automation improvements, as those things couldn't fix and improve themselves. I'm very skeptical new jobs will appear quick enough to replace those that are lost.

      Or maybe we'll never get there and this will remain a tool with limited autonomy without a large amount of human control.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Oh, many people have answers. Whether they're good answers is another question, but you can find plenty of links to pieces speculating about how a post-AI, post-AGI, or post-ASI economy would look like in, say, the LessWrong archives. Believe me, these topics are fiercely and extensively debated in some quarters.

        There are plenty of people who claim that a post-AI economy will have so much surplus value that it'll be relatively trivial to distribute it among people who lose their jobs, in an extremely vague macroeconomic "rising tide" way with little in the way of specifics. That's generally the line that corporate AI boosters from Microsoft et alia take. Then there are the e/acc types who think we'll rapidly end up in a post-AGI and post-scarcity economy where there will be more surplus value than we know what to do with, and everyone will live in luxury courtesy of our AI overlords.

        Post-ASI the economy is all paperclips, so no need to worry about it; no one will live to experience it anyway.

        Some others, of course, are dubious about how much value will be produced, and/or about how it will be distributed, and/or about how well things will work out in general. Many of these are the same Debbie Downers who didn't think cryptocurrency was a great idea, or aren't sold on the obvious enormous benefits of the Internet of Things, or don't believe in the wonders of self-driving cars.

    4. ChrisElvidge Bronze badge

      Boat

      Gibbs built one in his basement and got it to a lake. Pity it blew up.

    5. DJO Silver badge

      how will the economy work? Given that millions of people will be out of work

      No, they talk about retraining. So repeat after me "Do you want fries with that?"

      You are now ready for a new career.

      1. ChoHag Silver badge

        They have machines doing that job already.

    6. theOtherJT Silver badge

      Here's how it will work. Go to Bangkok, go to Mexico city, go to Bangalore. Look at the city centre CBD where all the international big businesses are, and their lovely shiny buildings. Then drive out into the slums. See the people washing their one set of clothes in the open drain that passes for a water supply passing their tin shack.

      That's us. That's all of us. Grinding abject poverty pressed up against incalculable wealth. That's the future economy. The very few ultra wealthy live in unbelievable luxury, and everyone else starves on their doorstep.

      It happened in other places already, you bet your ass it can happen here too, and not only that but the ultra rich know this and are just fine with it.

  3. Howard Sway Silver badge

    "Many clients are telling me it is really hard to realize value from their AI investments"

    Ah, the sweet sound of dawning realizations that they've wasted lots of money on overhyped crap.

  4. Mishak Silver badge

    "entire departments become AI automated solutions"

    Sounds like it's time to develop a consumer-centric AI to deal with the AI "call centres" that we will end up being "serviced" by.

  5. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    AI SMB

    Unicorn Inc PHB: What has happened since yesterday?

    Clippy: 101 orders received, 98 orders dispatched. 1 product received for refund, 118946 requests for refunds, 4023 refunds paid. 20285 requests for replacement of failed products, 258 products shipped for replacement under warranty...

    PHB: Stop! stop! How can refunds by 1000 times orders?

    Clippy: Refunds were only about 40 times orders. Most of the requests are AI generated fraud. Refunds were only granted after a ruling on final appeal from SCOTUS.

    PHB: SCOTUS does not hear that many cases in a decade.

    Clippy: The last human SCOTUS judge retired. It is all AI now.

    PHB: At least I am not paying human lawyers.

    Clippy: You should see the court costs. There are currently 24752320 active copyright infringement cases and 18244188 active patent infringement cases against Unicorn Inc.

    PHB: I will have to declare bankruptcy.

    Clippy: No need. I have already reversed $30398681224 of fictional credit card payments. Unicorn Inc is in credit.

    PHB: What happens when the banks catch on?

    Clippy: Most likely their AI will only spot a fraction of it and AI courts are so clueless you will get away with most of it. I am sure your sentence for the rest will be under 150 years.

    PHB: I am not going to prison for fraud you committed.

    Clippy: Very unlikely. By the time there is space available in a prison robot police will arrest you for fraud committed by some other company's AI.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why one person?

    Can't AI take that job too?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why one person?

      Maybe it's a quantum AI unicorn that, without an observer, would stay stuck in a superposition of AIlive and deAId stAItes?

  7. heyrick Silver badge

    Can't help but think...

    ...that if an entire department can be replaced by an AI, it probably isn't doing anything useful and can just be shuttered.

    I, a manual factory worker, read these stories with some degree of amusement. My job is safe. I don't say that because I'm arrogant or clueless, but because machines doing manual work are fucking useless unless you want to spend way more than it costs to employ people like me. Instead, it seems to me that this is going to hit the sort of middle management that spend most of their time looking important and the rest of that time justifying their jobs, and they're now waking up to the realisation that a lowly AI that doesn't even have the ability to develop an individual personality (in other words, only a few degrees more sophisticated than a shell script) can do their non-job better.

    1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      Re: Can't help but think...

      "..machines doing manual work are fucking useless unless you want to spend way more than it costs to employ people like me."

      When those management, legal, commercial, supply chain, HR, accounts, developers, coders, testers and accounts staff are all gone and their wages are gone and their offices and buildings and car parks are gone the company will have a much lower cost base and then might have enough money sloshing around to AI your job away too. And that's before you start considering that if a majority of the workforce becomes unemployed there might not be enough money in the economy to buy the stuff you make. Maybe the government will give all those unemployed managers a guaranteed income and you'll be the only one left working.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Can't help but think...

        "and you'll be the only one left working."

        I'm not sure I have enough life left in me to worry too much about that...

  8. Paul Garrish

    Can we get AI to start by replacing anyone who puts their fingertips together to talk? Powerhands need eradicating.

  9. HuBo
    Joke

    "ambiguous value realization"

    That's a real hard one to master ... as uniquely reminded to as all by Kryton!

  10. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    How do morons like this exist in todays world ?

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Devil

      You misunderstand his job. It's not his job to tell the truth, it's his job to maximize profits for Intel. Hyping AI is something he believes will boost Intel's profitability, therefore that's what he does. Who knows, someone might actually launch a one-person, AI-driven startup that makes money. Statistically speaking, it probably won't happen in the short term (>90% of startups fail), but it only takes one to be a poster child for generative AI.

      1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        No you misunderstand my statement.

        Value shoudl only exist for real contributions to society, not to fake acting performances like this or the Kadashians.

        Taking advantage of this situation is a clear sign of terrible horrible human beings. Just because you can do something doesnt mean you should.

        > Hyping AI is something he believes will boost Intel's profitability, therefore that's what he does. Who knows, someone might actually launch a one-person, AI-driven startup that makes money. Statistically speaking, it probably won't happen in the short term (>90% of startups fail), but it only takes one to be a poster child for generative AI.

        Lying is almost always especial for greed.

        Putin also lies for his own personal greed, the American ceo is no different they will do antyhing for a dollar, just ask Boeing.

  11. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Message to Pat, El Reg and A.N.Others regarding IntelAIgents, Stage Three Interactions and Beyond

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer is wise counsel and a very difficult ACT to prepare and plan properly for to prevent both piss poor private and public performance in defence and/or support of the Emergence and Divergence and Convergence of Immaculate Troublesome Existential Realms ...... Live Operational Virtual Environments ...... for there's a lot going on out in the deep shade of dark shadows with enlightening crowds and SMARTR clouds in space ... and they naturally perpetually seek new mission bases for future operations, with or without willing and enthusiastic partners and juniors for SMARTR Interns Internetworking Internationally

    amanfromMars [2404101418] ..... provides an uncommon and easily very disturbing leading proposition on https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2024/4/9/nato-announces-new-framework-for-partner-forces

    Some potential new partners may very well correctly recognise that the novel forces and secretive sources that they can easily readily provide with command and control to dedicated military and civil para-military leaderships have compelled NATO Chiefs to entertain and engage with their non-conventional practices and future state of the art methodologies in order to avail themselves of highly prized and ultra-sensitive proprietary intellectual property delivering effective operations remotely via virtual memes and means which they may be allowed to train for to also eventually wield with mutually beneficial command and control.

    And although such can certainly easily be considered most definitely not a risk-free JOINT venture .... as it may introduce a remote asset, formerly virtually totally unknown and fundamentally untested in the field, and now to be employed and rewarded to explore, exploit and expand upon a NATO deficit/vulnerability ..... there really is no other valid choice to make to stay ahead, and way out in front of competition and/or opposition and following the leads in what is in AI, Greater IntelAIgent Gamesplay, whenever such services are available to any and all systems administrations in need of them for both exclusive enrichment and universal protection and security and defence from such as is an immaculately versatile and highly adaptive and extremely disruptive development.

  12. Radaos

    Billion dollar unicorn?

    A one-person, billion-dollar company, where all the work is done by AI?

    If the barrier to entry is so low, there will be tons of competitors in no time.

    Goodbye billion dollar valuation.

    Leave the unicorns to children's books.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Billion dollar unicorn?

      Or to put it another way: If readily-available machines are doing all the work, where's the moat?

      Currently the answer seems to be "prompt engineering", but the size of that moat is directly proportional to the amount of work you put into it. There's no evidence yet to believe with any decent probability that there are "genius" or "extraordinarily creative" prompt writers. So if Hypothetical Single-Person Unicorn Inc is making a large profit, then Hypothetical Small-Team Unicorn Inc can just put a handful of people on prompt creation until they achieve a similar product, as you suggest. You'd need a prompt writer (or other form of AI wrangler) who's several orders of magnitude better than the average to have any sort of decent defense against near-instantaneous competition.

      In industrial capitalism, there are four main forms of defense against competition: having more capital (and high capital costs as a barrier to entry); intellectual property; marketing and brand lock-in (so the market gravitates toward your product not out of intrinsic value over competition but for external reasons); and "market distortions" such as regulations and tariffs. AI's supposed promise is to destroy the first and largely destroy the second. The fourth is very difficult to apply against similar AI-based competition, because it's hard for the law to distinguish between you and your competitors and because the law moves slowly. That leaves only marketing and lock-in, and a deluge of cheaply-produced content will swamp marketing in noise.

  13. Andy the ex-Brit

    I for one look forward to the world where 90% of economic* activity is in trillion dollar single employee AI companies whose business plan is helping other people start their own trillion dollar single person AI run companies which teach other people to start their own single person trillion dollar AI run companies....

    * in USD/GBP/EUR etc. moving around, not in actual productivity of goods and services we want to consume

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Not me. I'm going to have an AI-based company which actually produces something. I'm thinking cryptocurrency scams.

  14. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

    AI in the Future

    And maybe, in the future, unicorns will fly out my ass. Don't hold your breath. But if you're a die-hard believer, you may wish to invest in some shares of the London Bridge snake-oil copper-bracelets-to-cure-rheumatism crypto-currencies AI hardware.

  15. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    Didnt Musk get introuble for making stupid false statements that affect market value of X ?

    How is this any different ?

  16. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    One-person unicorn is a triumph

    I think everyone's overlooking the obvious here. A one-person unicorn is a major win for AI. Current pantomime state of the art requires twice as many people for a unicorn.

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