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Sequoia Capital Goes All-In on Generative AI

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One of the world’s top VC firms just went all-in on generative AI—and published the playbook that outlines the technology’s future.

Sequoia Capital is one of the best-known venture capital firms on the planet, with decades of experience investing in some of tech’s biggest names like Apple, Google, Instagram, LinkedIn, and PayPal. And they just signaled they’re all-in on generative AI.

“Every industry that requires humans to create original work—from social media to gaming, advertising to architecture, coding to graphic design, product design to law, marketing to sales—is up for reinvention,” wrote Sequoia partners Sonya Huang and Pat Grady in a recent post.

In fact, Sequoia thinks generative AI will bring the marginal cost of creation and knowledge work to zero—in turn creating massive labor productivity gains.

Why It Matters

In Episode 22 of the Marketing AI Show, Marketing AI Institute founder/CEO Paul Roetzer and I did a deep dive into the massive opportunity presented by generative AI.

  1. The generative AI opportunity is worth trillions of dollars. Sequoia estimates that a 10% improvement in knowledge work productivity thanks to generative AI is worth trillions of dollars in value. Generative AI is going to touch the efforts of billions of knowledge workers, including paralegals, lawyers, bookkeepers, accountants, software developers, marketers, and consultants. The opportunity presented by the technology to streamline writing, design, research, summarization, and coding is monumental.
  2. That’s because it will make all knowledge work massively more efficient. And when you look at just how much more efficient AI is at producing certain knowledge worker outputs—or will be if advancements continue apace—Sequoia’s estimate is conservative, says Roetzer. “I think a 3-5X [gain in productivity] is absolutely within reason,” he says.
  3. And the killer apps for generative AI will be domain-specific. Sequoia outlines the various waves of AI innovation that have brought us to this moment. And this moment is defined by Sequoia as the moment of the “killer apps” for generative AI. Those killer apps, says Roetzer, are going to be domain-specific applications of generative AI. “That’s the killer app model, saying ‘We are in insurance, we are in media, we are in entertainment, how do we build a very specific solution on top of GPT-3 or DALL-E 2 or whatever the platform or model is. How do we build something very specific that end users would find immense value in?’”

What to Do About It

PS — You can hear the whole conversation about this topic and more cutting-edge AI news in Episode 22 of the Marketing AI Show, out now.

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