Stephen Loynd Has Published A New Book On AI And Innovation

June 14, 2024  |  Mark Hillary

Stephen Loynd is the founder of the American industry analyst group TrendzOwl. He is based in Virginia, close to Washington DC. Stephen is well known globally for his commentary and analysis of the global information and communication industries.

He published a new book in June 2024 titled The Widening Turn: America & The Accelerating Sweep of Innovation. It’s a fascinating tour of Washington DC on board the DC Metro train where Stephen uses each journey to think about a different aspect of innovation and what it means for our world today.

There are many books about technology and innovation and they are usually terrible, but Stephen has done something rather different. He has looked back at major shifts in thinking from history to explore how we should now be looking at artificial intelligence (AI).

For example, in 1519 the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan led a three year journey that crossed both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and proved that it was possible to circumnavigate the entire earth.

The book says: “By circumnavigating the globe, Magellan’s expedition had proven the earth is a sphere, but it would take time for the implications of that journey to enlighten the medieval mind.” Stephen is suggesting that Magellan had proven that the earth was round and it was possible to navigate the oceans, but the average person in the 16th century could not yet see how this would affect their life in any way.

Stephen draws several similar parallels. As a new technology or discovery is introduced, it is very hard for people to understand how it will change the world. Very few people prepare for the change and then there is often a dramatic and rapid upheaval when the implications become clear.

We are in a similar position with AI today. It is not just a single application or system, it is an entire platform that will change how almost every organization globally uses and processes information.

Entire careers are about to be redefined. Education will change. Our concept of education has already been adapting to a world in which the ability to learn and adapt is valued more than just memorizing facts. Our parents had to memorize the capital cities of the world, but with all this information at our fingertips it is a more useful skill to know how to access the knowledge we need — and to guarantee its veracity.

Stephen’s book suggests that we are now only in the foothills. We are at base camp and many cannot even see the enormity of the opportunity ahead – or the changes that it will create.

It feels rather like the electrification of rural towns in the early twentieth century. The main focus was on the ability to use electric lights, but now we do far more with electricity than just connecting it to lights. However, a century ago we could not imagine all the devices that are commonly in use in homes today.

The companies that succeed in the coming decades will be the ones that think deeply about this and create the ability to adapt to the coming wave of change. Any companies that maintain a business model from the 2010s are unlikely to survive – it really is that simple. Who will be the next Kodak?

For more information and to obtain your own copy of the book, please click here. You can also listen to an interview with Stephen talking about his new book on the CX Files podcast here.

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