It’s going to get interesting, fast

We are living in a wild moment as it relates to the intersection of computing and humanity.

I have been thinking of it in terms of the “superpowers” we are about to unlock. (For the moment I’m mostly thinking about personal/consumer superpowers, vs more systemic or industrial)

Broadly, I think if two categories of superpowers: AI and crypto.

The AI superpowers are more immediately tangible, and include:

  • Talking (via voice, chat or otherwise) to computing devices of all kinds and getting a crisp, informed answer

  • Not having to worry about how or where your personal information is stored, yet being to access all of it seamlessly and instantly

  • Having super high quality help immediately available for nearly any task

Crypto superpowers are a bit less visible, and many of them may not fully kick in on a consumer level until there are more established network effects, but they include:

  • Being able to digitally transact, seamlessly across apps, products, and borders. This spans all types of “transactions” — payments, earning, social gestures, etc

  • Related: Having a digital identity that works seamlessly across apps, services, protocols and borders -- and that is "owned" by you directly

  • Having the ability to discern the provenance of certain pieces of data and content (eg via zero knowledge proofs and other forms of cryptographic attestations) — will be increasingly important with more AI!

Interestingly, AI and crypto superpowers have something in common: they both increase interoperability and composability of digital system, artifacts and assets. But another way: they both break down annoying digital silos, albeit in different ways. AI connects digital systems because language (via LLMs) is the ultimate interoperability base layer. Crypto connects digital systems by putting digital identity in the hands of the user, and by the open source automation of digital interactions (aka smart contracts)

I am so excited for both of these paths to continue developing — in parallel and then together.

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