First of all, it’s a pretty big topic
Artificial Intelligence is a huge topic, and it is growing at a lightning speed. It only seems like yesterday that the first version of ChatGPT (openAI) was released and now all the big players (Google, Apple, Microsoft, Meta, etc.) either have their own versions or are working hard on creating the ‘next level’ game changer.
Fast on the heels of these ‘Language Learning’ AI models has come picture creating versions such as ‘Leonardo‘ and ‘MidJourney‘ and it seems like all our familiar apps are starting to embed some elements of AI into their products. Undoubtedly this will enhance the user experience and anyone found ‘lagging behind’ will inevitably be ‘left behind’ in what has become the fastest growing sector of IT.
What is the attraction? For who? The user, or those behind the technology?
Let’s break down the title above into its constituent parts. This technology has enjoyed the fastest adoption of any IT innovation bar none so far… Even the Internet (pretty fast) has been beaten into second place by the adoption of AI tools, so something must be going on.
What is the attraction then?
The Language Learning AI models of which ChatGPT is one, initially seems like a step up from search engines in that it has a chatty interface that you can use to have a conversation with a robot. Thus you can utilise this chat by asking successive questions in order to laser target the specific information or answer you want. This is because they appear to have comprehension of language, syntax, nuance et al, and it is all very conversation-like.
“Take a look at this text I have written for an introduction to a course on NLP and include anything you think I have forgotten or left out, improving on the general text as well if you can. I am ok if you change my text if you think you can make it more impactful”
“Can you give me some recipes for what I have in my fridge: Onion, green pepper, potato, eggs, milk, sausages, bread, butter, tomato, cheese, yoghurt, double cream, cucumber and lettuce, sunflower oil. I also have rice and bread available. The recipes can use all or some of the ingredients”
This type of AI as shown above can be used throughout the day, and as you encounter different problems it is able to behave in a similar way to a very qualified personal assistant eagerly coming to your rescue (without the price tag). There are however many types. Those helping to create images or photos, translation plugins for video conference software that will translate and display subtitles in a foreign language (on the live stream)... are but a few examples.
The AI development arena is literally on fire at the moment, and with AI also helping to find ways to utilise AI, the pace of innovation is unlike anything we have seen before.
Who Benefits Most? The User or those behind it?
I am confident that you can easily see this technology is of huge benefit to us. The rate of sign up, and increase in its usage is confirmation enough that people have been voting with their feet (fingers / keyboard)
But with the majority of initial services being at no cost (they all have paid for versions, or will do so) why are these companies behind the AI technology doing this, for us? I’m sure you would like to think they are doing it out of the kindness of their hearts… Alas, I’m here to inform you that this is probably (definitely) not the case. I will be elaborating on this in the next blog post.
So what can we do with it?
This is not an exhaustive list, I would have to ask one of the AI engines if I was desperate for one of those, but hopefully, it might provide some inspiration to go on and have a go, or at least find out more and how it might help you in your endeavours.
- Writing books
- Creating blogs
- Handy Assistant (on hand anytime with encyclopaedia-like knowledge, working where and when you do)
- Finding things iteratively and repetitively (things we find boring)
- Rewording articles/sales pages
- Helping construct spreadsheets (even if you don’t know how to use formulae)
- Coding (You as the systems analyst / AI writing the Code)
- Annotating your work with pictures (searching or creating)
- Headings and/or Titles for … sales pages/products/posts (social media)
- Translations from one language to another
- Give me 10 things (or even 9 or 7) to do with the kids outdoors in the summer
- Give me 10 reasons to use supplements in my diet
- Ask the AI to look at your website and find ways to improve it
- Write me a short story about…
Millions of uses…
I suppose that this is the real appeal, AI can be fed data on pretty much any topic and consequently, it can be moulded to an almost infinite number of uses, consider the following…
Much in the same way that a single server has now gravitated to combining many servers together (through software) and presenting a flexible data centre which has broken the limitations of individual machines (and the management thereof), so we are now experiencing the merging of AI engines to provide a seamless combination of services (seemingly from one interface)… a bit like a brain has the power to deal with seeing, listening, talking, and driving all at the same time.
These AI engines can then be embedded in websites, trained for a specific purpose or range of products, providing a real step up for website capability, and servicing customer enquiries, without increasing headcount. (such as chat features)
The future looks very bright indeed as AI ramps up taking computing to the next level. I think we are at a pivotal point like that with the innovation of HTML back in the early 1990’s, the subsequent explosion of the Internet (world wide web www), and the transition to online shopping.
What on earth could go wrong? Anything? What’s the downside? (if any) … See the next blog that shares some of the perils perhaps lurking in the shadows, and what we might do well to consider.