An "iPhone Moment" for AI: A significant breakthrough

This will bring superpowers to everyone.


Published on: May 2023

Written by: Peter Mulford

In his speech at a recent Mind the Tech conference, Nvidia CTO Michael Kagan said that Artificial Intelligence (AI) had just had its “iPhone moment.” Nvidia is a leading provider of the chips, platforms, and supercomputers that give AI life, so Kagan would know when this moment happened, but — what does he mean by this?

Just as the iPhone popularized mobile computing, generative AI has provided everyone with access to AI tools and algorithms that were once reserved for technical experts: the makers of ChatGPT have pioneered a supercomputer that’s easy for anyone to use. In other words, GAI has democratized AI, making this an “iPhone moment” beyond which everything is going to change. Here’s why you should care.

Seismic changes

  • Superpowers for everyone
    The ubiquity of GAI in forms such as ChatGPT is significant because of the technology’s applications: simply put, GAI gives people cognitive superpowers. Just as the machines of the industrial revolution gave humans physical superpowers, GAI has done the same for our brains. And our exploration of these powers is just beginning.
  • Say hello to your (superpowered) AI coworker
    Soon, everyone will be able to access an AI coworker with superhuman abilities. They will process oceans of data for you in real time; teach you any topic you want, in any language you want; and generate the content you wish for whenever you do. Talk to them, and they will talk back.You’ll be able to train and improve your coworker using your natural language — no coding skills required. With these AI coworkers at your side, you can be a computer programmer, a content creator, a researcher, an explorer, and more. The possibilities are mostly limited only by our imaginations, so for those who can (or can’t) escape those limitations, the impacts will be profound.


  • What this will look like in the workplace
    At the level of company strategy, firms may use GAI to become information producers in their specific domains. This information will be leveraged internally to improve operations or sold externally inside of products and solutions that will surprise and delight customers.At the level of roles and functions, employees will access AI coworkers to gain superhuman assistance for role-specific tasks. For example, HR teams will access AI coworkers to help with recruitment and talent management, while supply chain managers will work with AI to improve logistics and planning.

While the powers we’ll gain from AI will be remarkable, as the Spider-Man adage goes, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Leaders and employees alike will need new skills to use their new powers wisely, including discerning when to trust an AI’s recommendation, how to judge those recommendations, and how to inform their judgements using shared ethics.

  • Be a better co-worker. To get the most out of our AI coworkers, we will also need to improve our own AI fluency. This will include learning how to interact with AI systems, how to integrate them into our projects and workflows, and how to interpret, value, and improve their output.

With all this in mind, prepare to seize the moment. In 1998, roughly ten years before the iPhone, Steve Jobs said, “Innovation is about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.” He might say the same about this particular iPhone moment if he were alive today. It’s an exciting time in history for us to collectively to “get it,” making the most of the powerful, positive impacts GAI can bring to our lives.

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