The recent flurry, or rather blizzard, of announcements of new variants of generative AI have brought a storm of hype and fright. OpenAI’s ChatGPT already appeared to be a gamechanger, but now this week’s new version, GPT-4, is another leap ahead. GPT-4 can generate enough text to write a book, code in every computer language, and – most remarkably – “understand” images.
If your mind is not boggled by the potential of this, then you haven’t been paying attention. I have spent the past five years researching how artificial intelligence has been changing journalism around the world. I’ve seen how it can supercharge news media to gather, create and distribute content in much more efficient and effective ways. It is already the “next wave” of technological change. Now generative AI has moved potential progress up a gear or two.
But hang on. This is not a breakthrough to “sentient” AI. The robots are not coming to replace us. However, these large language models (LLMs) – such as ChatGPT – are an accelerant that operate at such scale and speed that they can appear to do whatever you prompt them to do. And the more that we use them and feed them data and questions, the faster they learn to predict outcomes.
A million startups are already claiming to use this secret sauce to create new products that will revolutionise everything from legal administration to share dealing, gaming to medical diagnosis. A lot of this is marketing froth. As with all tech breakthroughs, there is always a hype cycle and unexpected good and bad consequences. But I have seen enough to know that it’s going to alter our lives. Just think what these tools could do when used by creative people in fashion or architecture, for example.
Artificial intelligenceRead more on theguardian.com