The future of the internet: ephemeral applications and AI-generated solutions

By Aaron Stack, Director, Experience Design, AREA 23

During a SXSW talk, Mark Rolston, founder of argodesign, discussed the future of the internet, with a focus on ephemeral applications and AI-generated solutions. According to Rolston, AI is transforming the way we create and consume content, making it easier than ever to generate images, write text and even build applications. However, he posits that the future lies in ephemeral applications, or software created in the moment for a specific need that ceases to exist once used. This shift would make software highly personalized and contextual, based on user intent and real-time needs.

The idea of an ephemeral, or "quantum" internet raises questions about the sustainability of current business models, branding and mass communication. Brands may struggle to maintain relevance in a world where content is generated on the fly and tailored to individual users. Advertising may evolve into highly personalized experiences based on user identity and context.

The growing dependency on AI-generated content may also make it challenging to discern authenticity and origin. As AI becomes more adept at creating detailed and realistic content, it becomes harder to distinguish between human-made and AI-generated work.

The shift toward ephemeral applications also highlights the need for AI to be more contextually aware and responsive to individual users. This may lead to the development of more localized, personalized AI models and less reliance on cloud-based AI services.

Ultimately, we must embrace the potential of AI-generated content and ephemeral applications while also acknowledging the challenges they present. The field of AI and content creation is rapidly evolving, and the best way to enter this new era is to begin experimenting now. One effective way to do this is by using AI-powered tools like ChatGPT-4 to perform unprecedented data transformations. For example, individuals can turn meeting notes and recordings into structured action items using ChatGPT-4, improving productivity and collaboration within their organizations.

Another way to experiment with AI and content creation is by using tools like to transcribe talks and presentations. By doing so, individuals can quickly and easily capture important information shared during these events and use it to generate written content or even build websites. This can be an effective way to develop skills in content creation and gain experience working with AI-powered tools.

Furthermore, we can explore other AI-powered tools and platforms, such as natural language processing (NLP) tools, image recognition software and machine learning algorithms, to gain a deeper understanding of how these technologies can be applied in various industries. Furthermore, we can develop the skills necessary to succeed in the field of AI and content creation.

In conclusion, a revolution in software is coming and the best way to enter this new era is to begin experimenting now. By continually exploring new tools and platforms, we can position ourselves for success in this rapidly evolving field.