2017 Will Be the Year of AI
Looking back, 2016 feels to me like an unresolved mega-cap sumo wrestling match. The biggest companies in the industry squared off against each other, grunted a lot, made some feints and jabs—but failed to push each other out of the ring. Facebook cruised for much of the year and then got blamed for threatening all civil life as part of the fake news controversy. Apple inched backward, not so much from a competitive shove as from saturation in its biggest market, smartphones, and the absence of its next big thing. Amazon sparkled with the power of its web services arm and the sizzle of its Echo speaker. But its gains were evolutionary, not revolutionary. Google (Alphabet, if you must) looked after its costs, a somewhat unnatural act. Samsung wobbled mightily after its latest, greatest smartphone was recalled, but hasn’t yet fallen down. The biggest private companies, Uber, Airbnb, Snap(chat), and Pinterest, all matured—and stayed private.