How AI Can Help You Turn an Idea Into the Next Great App | Amjad Masad | TED
Amjad Masad, in a TED talk, shared his journey of turning his childhood fascination with computers and programming into a reality using AI technology to revolutionize app creation. Growing up in Jordan, Masad was captivated by the possibilities of computers and the potential to create his own video games. However, as he delved deeper into the world of coding, he realized the complexities of building apps and the challenges of turning ideas into reality.
His breakthrough came when he developed the world’s first online programming sandbox, which quickly gained widespread adoption and led to multiple job opportunities in Silicon Valley. Masad’s vision is to empower a billion software creators, and he believes that large language models and AI technology are the keys to achieving this goal.
Masad envisions a future where anyone can effortlessly turn their app ideas into reality with the help of AI. He describes a scenario where an individual, inspired by a new city’s landmarks, can seamlessly communicate with an AI assistant to brainstorm, create a prototype, and develop an action plan for their app, all without writing a single line of code.
He illustrates how AI can assist with various aspects of app development, from design to coding, and even recruiting human assistance when necessary. Masad emphasizes that this futuristic vision is becoming a reality, citing the example of a non-technical entrepreneur successfully using AI to create a functional application.
Ultimately, Masad’s TED talk highlights the transformative potential of AI technology in democratizing app development and empowering individuals to bring their innovative ideas to life.
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You know um one of my earliest memories as a kid growing up in Jordan was watching my father who was a government engineer at the time set up a new computer I was just a kid but that machine really gripped me it felt like it was magic we couldn’t really afford
It but my father had a feeling that this this thing is going to be transformational for the world and for our lives lives at first like most kids I started playing video games I figured out how to boot up video games and play them for hours but then I had a radical thought
What if I could make my own video games the very notion that I could take a concept in my head and make it a reality that I and other people can explore was something that that was really gripping now fast forward to my teenage years and the internet has just
Arrived and I thought I was going to change everything I was bursting with business ideas but there was a problem I don’t know where to start which language do you use how do you even share your creations with the world and these questions send me down a rabbit
Hole the first thing I I I attempted doing at solving these problems is putting a code editor in the browser can you make it so that you can code anything really easily and shared with the world So eventually had a breakthrough it built the world’s first online programming sandbox with a lot of
Different languages and that went viral bunch of companies in Silicon Valley started using it and they hired me I got a visa to the United States and I came to New York a few years later I set eyes to go west and I came to Silicon Valley to
Start the company and that was repid our dream is to make it so that anyone can turn an idea into software quickly our vision is to empower a billion software creators but giving people an editor was not going to be enough to get a billion people coding on it we signed up
Millions of people and today we have 25 million developers registered on our site but we need an order of magnitude jump and a couple years ago I subl on this technology that’s the reason we’re all here large language models and I thought this was the unlock that’s going to make it possible
For anyone to become a software creator the interesting thing about large language models is that you can transform any thought in any language any human language into software and this I thought is how we bring a billion software creators online so right now I want you to imagine something let’s say you’re
Traveling in a new city and you’re walking around and seeing these uh magnificent landmarks but you’re interested in the stories around these landmarks now it kind of takes you out of the moment to pull up your phone and Google and find a Wikipedia page for that particular
Landmark wouldn’t it be easier if you had a map with the Wikipedia links superimposed on the map typically an an app idea like that will be just a fleeting thought and maybe you just forget about it and continue with your life maybe you’ll buy a domain and I know I’ve been guilty of
Buying tons of domains that never turned into anything but in the world that I’m envisioning you could actually do something about it in that moment you pull out your phone and you talk to your AI assistant and the AI assistant is not just passive listener it’s going to
Start brainstorming with you it’s going to make connections it’ll find projects you’ve worked on in the past that kind of look like this idea let’s say you want to give a clear picture well pull out a napkin draw a mock snap a picture and boom you send it to your
Agent let’s start strategizing and thinking of a road map now you don’t have a lot of time to chat with it you’re on the go so you send it a voice note now you head home and you have a prototype you have a tangible thing that you could actually
Play with you have a starting point to make an application out of but it’s not just a prototype you also have a plan you have a plan of action that could turn this prototype into a production app that you can share with the world now apps take time and they take
Money so we’re going to set a budget of how much money we’re going to spend spend and how much time we’re going to spend on this app to take a look behind the scenes it’s not just magic although it’ll feel magical the plan editor becomes a plan Source it recursively expands all the
Different tasks it goes out and assembles the tools and these are tools that as developers we use every day this your code editor your Source control and everything that we’re used to and you have of course the code now this is not just about coding it’s about a new way of communicating
With technology being able to talk and draw and and and and work with your AI to to make your Visions reality let’s go back to our plan we’re going to run it it has four feature ideas the first one is user off every app needs that the second
One is is a way to collect feedback from users and the third one is a way to like places you’ve been to and the fourth one is a navigation the first branch is kind of easy AI has seen login Pages trillion times and knows how to code it we’ll
Take a look at the code we’ll merge it second one is a little bit hard maybe it’s a novel task but the AI here is prompting us to to add more compute so that the easiest way to solve this problem would be to in more compute maybe that means a larger model or
Additional contacts or additional tokens in order to solve this problem and the problem is solved third branch is kind of easy smooth sailing I look at it it works I merge it now the fourth one is kind of difficult the AI seems confident that it’s not going to be able to solve this
Problem with more compute so it prompts me with an increased budget now it’s a it’s a hefty number number and that’s because it’s not just going to recruit AIS it’s going to go out and recruit people it’s going to post a bounty so in this case we need a human in the loop
And until we get AGI today natural intelligence is going to be really really important so we go out we get a human that coder is going to also be assisted by Ai and they’re going to help me solve the problem measure everything together and it’s just a matter of hours and
50 $60 or so I have an app I can deploy I deploy it I share it with the world now to step back a little bit notice that I didn’t write a single line of code I was basically the creative heartbeat of the project I managed the
Project I managed both Ai and people Med mediated by by AI in order to build this application and that fleeting thought that you had is subtly an application so you know I can almost hear some of you thinking like okay I’m J this is this is great and all this is
A fascinating Vision but it kind of looks too fantastic too futuristic well I’m here to tell you it’s kind of already happening so just a couple of weeks ago an entrepreneur on repet Yuri he’s he’s a technical recruiter by training he’s not a software engineer he learned enough code to start building
His startup and thousands of miles across the world we have Akash deep Akash deep a student in India he comes from a farming family and he can’t afford a PC he’s never had a PC all he’s had was his Android phone he started learning to code and repet just a few
Months ago and then decided to go and start uh making money on the platform now he makes more money than his entire family and he can afford a lot of different computers not just one and now he’s joined forces With Yuri to build that startup you know today we talk
About the Fortune 500 and it takes a ton of employees to build a big company like that but I think in the future when AI is helping everyone build their dreams we’re going to be talking about the fortune 5 million and again this is not just this is not just a fantasy we’re
Already building this last week we announced that we’re open sourcing our AI models and we’re making it free for for all our users because we think that’s a massive step up for for all of humanity uh AI is not just a tool it’s a ladder that equalizes opportunity and
That opens up Horizons for people that are typically on the sidelines so I’ll leave you with this imagine that the American dream not just uh not just in one place but actually in the cloud thank you
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Video “How AI Can Help You Turn an Idea Into the Next Great App | Amjad Masad | TED” was uploaded on 01/08/2024 to Youtube Channel TED