What could your startup do with 10,000 more employees?

That was one of the questions posed by Dr. Alex Wissner-Gross at our annual Friends of Link Ventures event last month. He spoke about getting to the point of artificial general intelligence — AI that is so advanced that language models can teach us new language models. We’re very close to that point, according to Dr. Wissner-Gross, because of the availability of large data sets.

What will AI that advanced look like on a practical level? It means, for example, that an AI copywriter would cost approximately 2,500–25,000 percent less than a human writer on a per-word basis. (Admittedly, that stat makes the author of this post a little queasy.)

Consider what businesses could accomplish with that kind of back-end power. Let’s use the example of a disaster relief organization and an approaching hurricane. Needed supplies are often delayed because of the necessity for paperwork to satisfy local or national requirements. If an army of intelligent bots could handle this task during and immediately after the storm, the company could use its employees as on-the-ground assets and get help to those affected an order of magnitude faster.

Here’s a less fraught scenario: LV2 portfolio company, Own Up. Right now the housing market is quite robust; this year has forced a close look at living situations and many people have decided to change theirs. Own Up uses technology to simplify the home financing process, and has easy-to-use online tools that help lenders understand costs, compare loan offers, and even update pre-approval letters on demand — a mortgage industry first. It’s filling a role that genuinely helps buyers make better, and easier, decisions. Think of all the homebuying dreams that could come true if Own Up could add thousands of low-cost AI “employees.”

Machine learning is often associated with replacing humans (and jobs), but it also fuels the processes that make life easier and more enjoyable for those a part of it. That’s why it’s at the heart of what we do at Link Ventures; AI helps us guide our portfolio companies and investors toward success.

Investing across the US in tech and D2C internet companies. Based in Kendall Square, Cambridge with @CogoLabs.