Named as one of the top 100 global thinkers on Twitter by Foreign Policy magazine, Vivek Wadhwa is a technology entrepreneur, a researcher, and an academician whose work has had a major impact on shaping the startup industry globally.
Inc42, which is at the centre of Indian startup ecosystem, for the first time expanded its knowledge sharing AMA session to foreign shores and bonded across the borders with Vivek Wadhwa, who’s based in San Francisco, for his insights on all things tech.
With next-gen technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence etc, gain a foothold in India, and the government allocating $480 Mn towards nurturing and growing these deep technologies, we felt one of the most relevant questions to ask Vivek Wadhwa would be: Which new technologies does he feel will be dominant in future.
To begin with, Vivek said he is of the opinion that cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin are overhyped. He had pronounced Bitcoin dead two years earlier, and India is now saying that Bitcoin is fake. “Stay away from bitcoin because it’s a disaster,” he advised.
Vivek also spoke about blockchain. He believes that even though Blockchain has positives, its value falls with Bitcoin. However, while several ICOs, 99% of them which according to him are fraud, go to zero, we have others which will be worthwhile in the revolution like dot com.
“As a result, Blockchain itself is going to get a bad name because it became a casualty of that,” added Vivek.
According to Vivek, it’s not that blockchain doesn’t have good uses, but you have to find those use cases and there aren’t too many of them yet.
He advised Indian startups to stay away from blockchain at the moment because then they’re going to get caught up in a ripple which is coming in the next month or so.
We also spoke to him about the other hugely popular technology that has been doing the rounds for a while and is here to stay — artificial intelligence (AI). “AI was a myth, like 10-20 years ago. Then it changed and then there was AI winter because overhype of AI led to its demise,” Vivek explained.
However, he said that AI has changed in the last five years or so. But that’s the cycle it has gone through and most technologies go through. He added that ICOs, blockchain, Bitcoin, etc, would go through the same cycle in the next year or so.
According to Vivek Wadhwa, every entrepreneur needs to understand exactly what AI is, because it’s in all the applications we use these days. “You need to learn to use it. So, data is everywhere and AI is an application; AI lets you understand it and make better decisions with it, so learn AI,” he advised.