What do we mean by a Tipping Point? Well, I suppose we might start with the fundamentals: at a given point in any cycle, a sharp hysteresis loop emerges, and once that happens, the entire system will start to veer rapidly in a new direction. No…? OK then, as Julie Andrews might say: let’s see if we can make this simpler. The Tipping Point in 2020’s US Presidential Election, the moment Donald Trump’s face turned a brighter shade of orange, was when Wisconsin went for Biden. From that point onward, all electoral college seats became increasingly (and irresistibly) correlated to a Biden victory. Wisconsin mattered because it caused the entire system to become a hysterical loop. Wisconsin was the Tipping Point, and as soon as it was called, Donald Trump was packing his bags…well, sort of.
And the same principle underpins the progression of emerging technologies…one minute, you have an iPhone, and the World looks pretty much the same…the next minute, the iPhone is running your bath for you while you wait at the station, turning on the lights, and heating your house while you travel home. It’s not quite as clear-cut as the Wisconsin electoral result, but no matter how difficult it is to define (like an elephant), you’ll certainly know it when you see it.
Which is why, in a nutshell, it pays to keep a weather eye on the pace of emerging technologies …one minute, they look like glorified toys: the next, they’re changing the World.
The Mathematical Tipping Point
Most statisticians believe the mathematical Tipping Point is reached at around 60% of market absorption, after which it’s usually only a question of time before everyone else follows. That’s why pollsters and decision-makers work hardest on the six out of ten in the room; time spent on the stragglers is generally time wasted. And it’s why the figures released by IBM last month make such especially interesting reading (www.ibm.com): according to their latest research, the number of businesses using AI technology in the workplace has now reached that magical 60% number: at least in India and China, but given they’re spearheading technological innovation, it can’t be much longer before others follow.
Indeed, 35% of companies worldwide responded to IBM’s Survey (the Global AI Adoption Index) by confirming they had already adopted AI as part of their routine business operations. And that’s hardly surprising either…
Since COVID locked them down so dramatically (and for so long), global markets have never been more closely connected than they are now…and nothing connects them better than AI. And at the same time, India has become a global technology hub, so it’s little wonder the first signs of technology reaching its tipping point should emerge on the Subcontinent.
Either way, make no mistake: when it comes to emerging technologies, we’ve already passed it, and the World will never be the same again.
Every business cycle has its Tipping Point, and history will record that it was reached this month, in India, for emerging technologies.
Silently, significantly, the World has just changed for the better.