Today I am introducing Rewire, the newest member of our family. Its purpose is to help clients build breakthrough artificial intelligence technology into their businesses and organisations. With ten years’ experience building web apps, systems and platforms, we are perfectly positioned to provide this specialist expertise.
By way of a little background, it’s fifteen years since I set up in business, twenty years since I created my first website — and thirty years since I first learned how to programme a robot.
I remember the occasion clearly. I was ten, it was Christmas, and we were at my grandfather’s house. My present was a futuristic little white android with wheels, a clock, a lot of buttons, a tape recorder, and bona fide magic under the hood. It was an Omnibot, and it was the coolest and most exciting thing I ever had.
I “taught” my robot, by recording a sequence movements, to pick up a snack in the kitchen and bring it to me in the hallway. This kind of worked, but it had a tendency to go off piste at the slightest challenge — a bit of buckled carpet, or a slippery wooden floor, for example — and then it could never correct itself. So the semblance of intelligence was really very modest.
No matter. It was enough to inspire me with a lifelong passion for the extraordinary potential of computing to change the world.
“The most important technology anybody on the planet is working on today”
Until very recently, robots and artificial intelligence were not really at the forefront of tech buzz. When I founded Loft Digital in 2007, web apps and social networks were the big thing. Then it was mobile, then the cloud, then big data, and most recently IoT.
Over the years the Loft team have helped many others achieve extraordinary things through these technologies. We have been part of a movement which, in less than a decade, has transformed our world and the lives of billions of people for the better.
Now AI is back on the agenda, very suddenly, and in a very big way indeed.
Massive investment from the likes of Google, Apple, IBM, Tesla, Amazon, Microsoft and others, combined with unprecedented computational power, data, research and programming know-how, have enabled critical technologies in the AI stack to mature and come together at speed. Now they are ready to be used in business. Not just FTSE 100s, but all types and sizes of organisation, in every single sector.
I am talking here about a massive new wave of commercial disruption, world betterment, economic growth and technology shift.
If that sounds like hyperbole, consider what Dave Coplin, Microsoft’s Chief Envisioning Officer, recently said:
“AI is the most important technology that anybody on the planet is working on today … This technology will change how we relate to technology. It will change how we relate to each other. I would argue that it will even change how we perceive what it means to be human.”
By 2020, everything will be different. Some say AI will be a $70bn industry. Its impact will be far greater.
In a world changing this fast, we know our clients and potential clients are going to need help.
That’s why we at Loft have set up Rewire: a brand new kind of agency, consultancy, programming outfit — whatever it needs to be — to help clients get the latest breakthrough AI technology working in their business. In this way, it is our clients who will offer the best products and services on the market, who will do the disrupting, and who will operate in the most efficient ways.
For those with opportunities to integrate AI into their digital infrastructure and web properties, we’ll have the core Loft Digital and Rewire teams working together around the world.
Over the coming months I’ll be sharing ideas, insights and opportunities for companies to make use of AI technology.
But if you can’t wait, we’re open for business...
Meanwhile, you can lean more about Loft here.
One final quote from the Deep Learning Summit 2016:
“With the exponential growth of deep learning research in recent years, innovative new companies are often funded, acquired and transformed from startups to industry leaders extremely quickly.”