Vinod Khosla, former Sun Microsystems founder and the billionaire founder of famed Silicon Valley venture firm Khosla Ventures, was instrumental in the rise of what we now think of as the computer server.
Now, he thinks that artificial intelligence is the next big thing for server rooms and data centres everywhere.
On stage at this week’s Structure Conference in San Francisco, Khosla says that one of the biggest costs for any company is how much they spend on their IT departments — but that 80% of their staff can be “highly leveraged, maybe replaced,” by “AI-type systems.”
“I think that’s exciting,” Khosla says.
Khosla shouts out companies like the publicly-traded Nutanix, a Khosla Ventures investment, which help computing infrastructure professionals automate how they handle networking between servers. Similarly, he calls out startups like Mesosphere, which help simplify the task of installing and maintaining software on servers.
He’s also known for throwing barbs at the news media and at the VC industry, which he argues doesn’t “add value” most of the time.
In response to some anxious grumbling from the audience on Tuesday, largely comprised of CIOs and other tech executives, Khosla was quick to reassure the crowd: “But we’re all in the other 20%, not the 80% that’s automated.”
Then again, Khosla has reportedly claimed that doctors will be replaced by technology too. So IT staffers are in good company.