Artificial Intelligence – stuff that science fiction is made of! Or NOT. It has been on everyone’s lips in recent weeks.
My clients and colleagues are curious, perplexed and anxious about the developments being reported in the press and social media. My intent is to help clarify what is actually happening in the “AI Space” and how it may impact you and your company. Note: I have drawn heavily on several articles and a key book on the subject (my sources are noted below).
AI is already all around us – often in ways that are not entirely evident – and redirecting our technological anxieties toward encouraging greater understanding of and transparency regarding AI’s integration into our lives. Social media, web searches, steaming video, navigation, ride sharing, and countless other services could not operate without extensive and growing use of AI. (1,3)
A flurry of new AI-powered features from tech companies are heating up the race to dominate this exciting new space – enter ChatGPT.
ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is an artificial intelligence chatbot developed by the company OpenAI and launched in November 2022. It has been fine-tuned (an approach to transfer learning) using both supervised and reinforcement learning techniques. The core function of a chatbot is to mimic a human conversationalist. (1, 4)
GPT-Version 4 just launched, but people are already excited about the next version of the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot technology. Now, a new claim has been made that GPT-Version 5 will complete its training this year, and could bring a major AI revolution with it.
The assertion comes from developer Siqi Chen on Twitter, who stated: “I have been told that GPT-5 is scheduled to complete training this December and that OpenAI expects it to achieve AGI.” (5)
Artificial General Intelligence
AGI is the concept of “artificial general intelligence,” which refers to software capable of human-level performance of any intellectual task and capable of relating tasks and concepts to others across disciplines – in contrast to today’s narrow AI, which is developed to complete a specific task. In other words, AGI has the ability to comprehend and learn any task or idea that humans can wrap their heads around. An AI that has achieved AGI could be indistinguishable from a human in its capabilities. (3, 5)
If AGI goes off the rails, it could enable the spread of incredibly convincing bots on social media channels, helping to disseminate harmful disinformation and propaganda that is increasingly difficult to detect.
That’s something Elon Musk is evidently aware of, and the controversial billionaire has made fighting AI bots a key pillar of his tenure as Twitter CEO. Twitter is just one frontier in the AI-enabled future, and there are many other ways artificial intelligence could alter the way we live. If GPT-5 does indeed achieve AGI, it seems fair to say the world could change in ground-shaking ways. Whether it will be for better or for worse remains to be seen. (5)
Given all the above, what can you and I leverage to improve and grow our businesses? Breakthroughs and new developments will continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible with AI. Here are Bernard Marr’s (Forbes columnist and futurist) predictions and trends for AI going forward (2):
1. The augmented workforce. We will increasingly find ourselves working with or alongside machines that use smart and cognitive functionality to boost our own abilities and skills.
2. Bigger and better language modeling. To allow machines to understand and communicate with us in language we understand.
3. AI in cybersecurity. Some of the most significant applications of AI that we will see develop are likely to be in this area.
4. AI and the Metaverse. A virtual world, like the internet, but with the emphasis on enabling immersive experiences, often created by the users themselves.
5. Low-code and no-code AI. Solutions to overcome the scarcity of skilled AI engineers by offering simple interfaces that can be used, in theory, to construct increasingly complex AI systems.
6. Autonomous vehicles. To revolutionize travel and society over the coming decade.
7. Creative AI. We can expect more elaborate and seemingly “natural” creative output from our increasingly imaginative and capable electronic friends.Bernard Marr, Forbes
Why Should AI Matter to You?
So! What to make of all this tech stuff? The impact of giving machines the ability to make decisions – and therefore enable decision-making to take place faster and more accurately than could ever be done by humans – is very difficult to conceive right now. (2)
But one thing we can be certain of is that our businesses will need to keep up, interface and exploit these trends. AI has great potential in many disciplines. What about your business?
All the best
© 2023 David Paul Carter. All rights reserved.
(1) What Is Generative AI? McKinsey & Company, Jan 19, 2023.
(2) The 7 Biggest Artificial Intelligence (AI) Trends In 2022. Forbes. Bernard Marr. Sep 24, 2021.
(3) The Age of AI and Our Human Future. Little, Brown and Company. 2021. Henry Kissinger, Eric Schmidt, and Daniel Huttenlocher.
(4) ChatGPT. Wikipedia.
(5) GPT-5 could soon change the world in one incredible way. Digital Trends. Alex Blake. March 28, 2023.