Technology is speeding along faster than any of us could have imagined. I am sure that most of us have now heard about Chat GPT, Microsoft Copilot, Claude, and Google Bard. All are state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) platforms that could transform our lives. However, not all transformation is necessarily good. With the best of intentions also comes the possibility of misuse and abuse especially regarding technological innovations.
Some of us will consider whether our jobs will be impacted or lost because of AI. Perhaps some jobs already have been impacted or scaled back. Others may be discontinued over time. The only thing for certain is change.
Many basic administrative or customer support functions that were previously done by people have already been replaced with AI. There is talk about teaching and public relations and more following suit. Autonomous driving vehicles probably will nudge taxis and ride-share and delivery drivers to the curb. Generative AI is writing code, music, digital art, and more. So where do the lines of innovation blur or reach homeostasis or do they?
Claude (Anthropic’s AI) reached a bar that can only rise by processing over ten thousand characters of text in under one minute. Ten thousand tokens of text are approximately equal to seventy-five thousand words or about the length of a typical novel. That is darn impressive if you ask me.
AI, to truly progress and learn, must be given regular human feedback for its tasks. This is called reinforcement learning and it is critical to fine-tuning interactive and generative AI. Remember, these AI models are so sophisticated. They have been making incredible strides in image, audio, and video construction and editing. They are currently able to rank, revise, sum up, respond to questions, and piece together new content. Writers, like me, beware!
The recent strike of the Writers Guild of America highlights the necessity to create more meaningful legislation for AI. In addition to writers’ fear of being replaced by AI they want bans on studios being able to use AI to rewrite treatments and screenplays and they do not want the job of training the generative AI to better do their jobs. Currently, the Guild defines a writer as a human being. However, there are some inside this industry who are embracing AI over human writers.
McKinsey.com said that many occupations spend as much as a 1/5 of their time searching for and tallying up information. Furthermore, AI is able to read and store daunting amounts of information, as well as, bring it back in a short span of time that would be nearly impossible for a single human to do.
Bob Iger from Disney said they are already in the process of using AI so they can more effectively meet their clients’ needs. Others in the industry say they have tested AI to see what it brings back in searches for new ideas and spins on current plot lines. They agree that AI is fast and easy to search, but also relies upon cliched versions at times. Mike Giota said “…a B-minus version of a scene or a conversation that they can spruce up.”
McKinsey said, “About 75% of the value or generative AI use cases could deliver falls across four areas: Customer operations, marketing and sales, software engineering, and R & D.” Regarding the banking sector McKinsey estimates that generative AI could boost profits as much as $200 Billion dollars or more. Retail sales might see an uptick in their earnings of about $400 Billion dollars or more.
Generative AI has a very keen command of natural-language processing and can tap into vast amounts of stored information via queries, questions, and dialogue. With this information at one’s fingertips, they can effectively and efficiently make more informed decisions faster.
There are split factions on this topic. Some believe that AI will help to streamline their work and allow them to boost their overall productivity. Others believe that AI might be rampant with misinformation and scams. As such the benefits must outweigh potential abuse.
When asked about this duality Sam Altman from OpenAI said the following. “I think the best case is so unbelievably good that it’s hard for me to even imagine. – I can sort of imagine what it’s like when we have just, like, unbelievable abundance and systems can help us resolve deadlocks and improve all aspects of reality and let us live our best lives. – The bad case –and I think this is more important to say – is, like, lights out for all of us. – I’m worried about an accidental misuse case in the short term. – So I think it’s like impossible to overstate the importance of AI safety and alignment work.”
I have not tried ChatGPT or any of the others, but plan to and will get back to you with my results. Until then let’s agree that AI can be a great time saver in some areas and a great pain in the “you know what” other times. So go into it with eyes wide open and let me know what you find out too.
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