“…companies like Google and Facebook pay top dollar for some really smart people. Only a few hundred souls on Earth have the talent and the training needed to really push the state-of-the-art [AI] forward, and paying for these top minds is a lot like paying for an NFL quarterback. That’s a bottleneck in the continued progress of artificial intelligence. And it’s not the only one. Even the top researchers can’t build these services without trial and error on an enormous scale. To build a deep neural network that cracks the next big AI problem, researchers must first try countless options that don’t work, running each one across dozens and potentially hundreds of machines.”
Software as a Monthly Rental by the New York Times
This article is excellent in a variety of ways, first it points out that software companies are moving toward a monthly or annual software rental. In fact, both Microsoft and Adobe have added rental subscription models for their Office and Photoshop software suites. For Adobe, it was a huge step, because not only are they renting the software, that is the only option, you can’t buy Photoshop, and must rent it. For the photo creative types, Photoshop is the defacto software for editing and refining photos. They also coined the term CC, Creative Cloud, although in no way, shape or form is it a cloud, and will just put up a barrier for people trying to understand what a cloud is. They connect to the Internet every month to check if the license is up to date, calls the mother ship, and if not, they can’t use the write version of the software.
Clever if you ask me. The NYT article writer says on average, small shops that just use Photoshop and don’t use Adobe’s other products, or don’t upgrade regularly, will see a steep cost increase. People who only need the product periodically will have the latest software, always, and / or can try or use the software adhoc, not needing the software on an ongoing basis. I would certainly like to see more software companies following this model. If more software followed this model for all their products, i.e. monthly subscription, I would try more and more software. It’s amazing how a new business model will open up avenues of opportunities.