Hello Kitty is turning 50 this year, on Nov. 1, to be precise.

Looking back at her long career — which saw Sanrio's character become one of the world’s cutest icons — also makes me wonder about the future of cute culture, aesthetics and products as new technologies like artificial intelligence expand the realms of possibility. And of commerce.

One thing is certain. As she approaches her golden jubilee, Hello Kitty is very wealthy indeed.