Mark Cuban is a lot of things—Shark Tank celebrity, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, entrepreneur, angel investor—but one thing he is not is shy about offering his opinions. In a conversation with Andrew Wallenstein, co-editor-in-chief at Variety, Cuban outlined his thoughts on the trendiest technologies found here at the show.
For starters, he gave his impression of CES, which he has been coming to since he was a kid. “There are always inflection points in technology,” he said. “First you get innovators, then imitators, then idiots. CES reflects that. You get a year of innovators, then five years of imitators, then three years of idiots. This year we are at the imitation stage.”
He sees huge potential in ambient voice applications, which the tech industry is starting to come to grips with as to how the technology can used as an entrepreneurial tool. Although he did have one idea on that subject. “If I were 16, I would learn how to create scripts on Google Home, Amazon Alexa … then go door to door and charge $30 to set it up in people’s homes.”
He also believes that 5G is going to be huge in dense, urban areas. A device with no latency will be big in gambling, streaming content, and all the other ways that, as Cuban put it, we look to kill time.
When it comes to AI, Cuban is particularly passionate. “People still don’t know what AI is,” he said. “Right now we are going through the imitation phase where people are understanding the implications of putting it to work.”
And he is putting his money where his mouth is, investing in several AI companies: “Node.io makes AI a platform that any small- to mid-size business can use; Eon Auotmation takes hospital data and predicts and reduces readmissions; and Genetesis makes a sensor that monitors the electrical pulse from your heart and runs through predictive algorithms to prevent heart disease. That is world changing.”
When it comes to regulating the big tech companies, Cuban understands that it may happen and is not a fan—especially if it means breaking up the tech giants. “Breaking up big companies is stupid,” he said. “Back to AI, the biggest companies in AI are the ones who will be broken up, and they are doing the research. We have to be careful what we ask for. If they don’t have the money to invest, we lose. I’m not opposed to regulation if it is smart, but breaking up is wrong.”
Finally, he warned with regards to robotics and AI, that “we need to dominate it before somebody else does. To not be dominant and our adversaries are, then there are problems.”
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