by Shelt Garner
The crux of much of the money made in the Internet era has been slapping ads on solving the problem of there being a deluge of information on the Web. But it is growing more and more apparent to me that it’s at least possible that as we careen towards a “Her” movie type future, that the Web could collapse into something akin to a technological Singularity.
The entire modern Web paradigm will evaporate into into simply interacting with a hyper-personalized LLM. So, rather than a Google-style one to many situation we have now where we all go to Google to ask a question, we will each have a LLM specifically tweaked to our personal proclivities.
What’s more, the Web itself will no longer exist.
There are elements of this potential future that I can’t quite game out yet. What about video or music? How does any one make any money off of content if all content is simply fed directly into a LLM that then, in turn, tells end users about that content?
I think we have to contemplate the idea that the next trillion dollars in tech will be made from whomever can scale Her-like software. So, rather than a smart phone, you’ll have some sort of device that interfaces with a LLM. The end product will be much like what is seen in Her or even the Apple prototype commercial from way back when where a dude talks to a high end digital personal assistant.
As such, it seems Apple would be the most obvious company to benefit from this because they don’t have a profitable search business to protect AND they have a unified software and hardware ecosystem.
The issue of online content, however, is a much more difficult thing to process. But it is easy to imagine that LLM hooked up to a real-time feed of the Internet could market the final death of all media online. If your LLM uses the ENTIRE INTERNET (including the Dark Web) as its dataset, the fact that at the moment you only can get “suggestions” about a portion of the Internet’s vast content becomes quite moot and quaint.
The LLM will simply digest all of human knowledge and give you a specific answer specifically tailored to your personality and needs. It will know everything about you and so there will be something akin to “preemptive search” that takes place.
But, again, how will some future interation of The New York Times make any money? I honestly don’t know at this point. Maybe they will be paid to feed their content directly into the LLM? But I do know that the Web as we currently conceive of it is lurching towards its doom.