Book Review: Unscaled by Hemant Taneja

Even to this day, AI is still embryonic even though its practical implications are already bleeding into our day to day lives: our social media, our Google searches, our medical records and the content that suits our “profile”. In this way, Unscaled is no different than most texts discussing the possibilities of AI — it is still speculative, with interesting examples of the use cases.

Unscaled argues that AI will give more opportunities to entrepreneurs who is able to customise the product to their customer the way they want it. The essence of the argument in Unscaled is about using AI to customise to a customer’s need — whether it is in the fields of education, content, commercial goods and finance. The argument is a valid one — we are generating more data than we know what to do with, and AI will be able to identify patterns which improves our consumption patterns.

However, in terms of the opportunities for entrepreneurs, the winners will be the corporations rather than the twenties-led startups. I personally think the AI arms race will either be won by large corps or governments which may or may not benefit the end user (that’s you). Covid has affected some of these businesses already, which gives the corps an even larger slice of the AI pie. Even the early promises of companies such as Voodoo Manufacturing (which rents out its 3D printing capabilities) has closed its doors this year.

Taneja, like tech writers of this era also urges the ethical implications of AI, which is an important discussion that should be addressed sooner rather than later. Unscaled is a good read, and while it provides good examples of the current and potential use cases of AI, much of it is still speculative in an industry that’s changing almost daily.

A full time project manager who loves to read on the side. Connect with me to chat anything tech and lit.