The next big thing would be to use AI to help machines transcend into the real world not just as tools but as agents. Self driving cars are only the beginning. As of date machines are not agile, dexterous and smart enough to navigate our world and perform work in a general and extensible way.

Let me explain.

When computers first came about, they were made to perform calculations or a narrow set of tasks. Eventually they were used to communicate, visualize, entertain and do many more things relevant to normal people. Then came this inflection point when they became useful to a large demographic and their applications exploded.

Similarly, portable computing devices existed for as long as personal computers existed. Eg: Apple Newton, Palm, Windows CE, etc. But they did not appeal to a large enough population as their scope and capabilities were limited. Then came this inflection point when they, as a device / platform, became useful, interesting and full of potential.

Now it is the turn of Automatons as I would like to call them. Automatons are agile, dexterous and smart robots that are extensible both mechanically with tools/accessories and intellectually with skills.

They will be able to tend your farm / cook / wash dishes for you. They can feed your sick mother or follow your child to make sure he doesn't get hurt.

There will be a huge third-party ecosystem for mechanical accessories for these automatons and many people will be creating skills for them too. You can imagine the possibilities!

The next Apple/Microsoft/Google will create and control these automatons and the attached ecosystem.