Got a chatbot for that?
What can we expect in a world of AI?
DataCamp helps individual learners make better use of data. Build data skills online while learning from the world’s top data scientists. Help close the talent gap with DataCamp.
Thanks for reading Box of Amazing! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
As I do every year, I encourage you to join the online version of TBD Conference 'Materia' being held on Feb 23rd which brings together speakers from Snap to the Economist to TikTok to Reddit. It always provides mind-broadening ideas and thinking. Tickets are GBP50, but use this link and you’ll get sent a free ticket. The virtual goody bag is also pretty damn good.
On to this week:
It’s pretty clear that we have advanced to the AI era. While ChatGPT & OpenAl has become the poster child for what’s happening, the floodgates have opened. What can we expect ahead?:
Search Engine Wars: we have started down a new phase of Search Engine wars, with Microsoft integrating ChatGPT. With the new version of Bing, “you can ask it questions—even about recent news events—and it will respond in sentences that seem like they were written by a human. It even uses emojis.” Google rushed out Bard, its alternative, but an advert designed to show off its new AI bot, showed it answering a query incorrectly. That mistake alone wiped 7% or $100bn off the valuation of Alphabet, its parent company. AI is high stakes - but this new war is just beginning.
Have you got a chatbot for that?: expect every man and their dog to be creating a chatbot. We are witnessing a significant shift in what is possible. What seemed impossible only a few months ago is now becoming a reality. Any one with any amount of content (newsletters, blogs, podcasts, articles and books) can now be repackaged as chatbots. Audiences can now access instant answers to their questions directly from the source, without having to sift through archives of articles or podcast episodes. For content creators, this presents a new revenue stream and the opportunity to monetize their existing content in new ways. A new generation of content creators is emerging, who will learn to craft compelling chatbot experiences that combine their unique personalities and worldviews with their niche audiences. The winners will be those who can master this technology and deliver amazing user experiences. Some way to go - but a glimpse into the future.
The Data privacy & IP protection Conundrum: David Guetta posted a video of him playing an AI-generated verse of Eminem, spoken by an AI-generated voice of Eminem at one of his gigs. It sounded like a new song by Eminem. The crowd went crazy. Guetta seemed excited. But it puts this era in context. Eminem didn’t agree to this - and Guetta didnt care. Why is this an issue? “If you’ve ever written a blog post or product review, or commented on an article online, there’s a good chance this information was consumed by ChatGPT. First, none of us were asked whether OpenAI could use our data. This is a clear violation of privacy, especially when data are sensitive and can be used to identify us, our family members, or our location.” You can’t be forgotten, copyrights may be embedded within the data set - and no one was compensated. Actors are currently Being Asked to Sign Away Their Voice to AI. AI is even being used to de-age stars on screen. Lawyers gonna law, players gonna play. And what do you do if AI is stealing art from artists?
That Employment question: AI will eliminate jobs - ““AI will wipe out a lot of current jobs, as has happened with all past technologies,” said Lawrence Katz, a labor economist at Harvard. “But I have no reason to think that AI and robots won’t continue changing the mix of jobs. The question is: will the change in the mix of jobs exacerbate existing inequalities? Will AI raise productivity so much that even as it displaces a lot of jobs, it creates new ones and raises living standards?””
Truth in the face of AI: What is the truth when using AI? “Algorithms are trained on available data, but all this data is currently still subject to human judgment and human behaviors. This means that societal biases of all kinds—racial, gender-based, and more—get baked into the algorithms and these biases will continue to be amplified. For example, Gmail’s sentence completion AI assumes an investor must be male. Google’s Smart Compose team has made several attempts to correct the problem, but have thus far been unsuccessful. How do we curate high-quality and factually accurate content in an era where there will be a firehose of it being created by anyone and everyone, and robots? Trust in user-generated content and other non-branded outlets will degrade. On the flip side, audiences may also have blind trust in personalities, brands, and “experts” they already follow and respect.”
“AI First companies” - We have already seen the effect of companies referring to how they are changing their approach to include AI. Buzzfeed’s share price increased by 200% on disclosing that it would be using AI to produce content. Over the coming years, we will see even more references, some true, some embellished, and some reinvention as AI becomes normalised in our day to day. Even when it comes to education Duolingo says it its AI learns what you need to learn
Prompt Engineering Skills - Those that are able to code and leverage the power of AI will become kings and queens of this new era - but Talking to AI Might Be the Most Important Skill of This Century: “Prompt engineering lies somewhere between linguistics and problem solving. “Prompting is programming in prose with weirdness and stochastic results….. good prompting likely rewards divergent thinkers who find ways to experiment quickly. I think it rewards people with deep curiosities.” It also rewards some deeper technical knowledge.”
A plethora of tools: We will continue to see hundreds, if not thousands of AI tools rear their heads. Many will be the same - a wrapper around GPT3 - but many will reinvent industries and processes in a way that we didn’t realise we needed.
What’s real?: Gen-1 shows us a new AI model that uses language and images to generate new videos out of existing ones. That sounds like magic to me and it actually looks like it when you see the video. It’s indicative of an out-of-the-box world where the unthinkable becomes the future - like this AI-powered body health scanner from Daniel Ek.
A life full of questions and requests? There’s little need to know anything these days. We will be become directive to these robots that now inhabit our lives. Our questions will be answered with perceived answers, crafted by AI. Quora is filling its questions with bot-written answers - and very soon we won’t quite know what the truth is.
I’ll leave you with one final question: Could ChatGPT be your wingman/woman in online love?
Here are my recommendations for this week:
Firstly, if you are thinking of a change in lifestyle, consider checking out Daniella’s newsletter for travelpreneurs & receive a weekly newsletter sharing a curated collection of paid opportunities & useful resources for travelpreneurs who want to create a freedom lifestyle.
The Hidden Toll of Microstress - Microstresses are small, seemingly manageable stressors, such as a worrying text or a venting colleague. But these microstresses can build up and have long-term effects, such as decreased energy and well-being. New research teaches us how to recognize and manage microstresses.
Why Do People Believe Everything They Watch on TikTok? - Because of TikTok’s shortform content and design, which is fine-tuned to try and get users to consume as much content as possible in a short space of time, some social media experts think we’re no longer thinking carefully about what we’re watching. The incentives for creators to publish honest if earnest content are also lower than publishing outlandish viral catnip.
You Don’t Actually Know What Your Future Self Wants - "You are constantly becoming a new person," says journalist Shankar Vendantam. In a talk full of beautiful storytelling, he explains the profound impact of something he calls the "illusion of continuity" -- the belief that our future selves will share the same views, perspectives and hopes as our current selves -- and shows how we can more proactively craft the people we are to become.
Why Do People (Usually) Learn Less as They Get Older? - Always be learning! Tips to continue learning: reduce effort, carry a book, pick projects with career/social/parenting goals, set aside time for experiments, focus on knowledge-intensive subjects instead of quick-wits skills. Avoid getting stuck in a rut and shift focus to subjects that rely on accumulated knowledge. This newsletter is my method!
The Death of the Smart Shopper - Internet retail was supposed to supercharge the informed consumer. What happened? Amazon Happened.
Big Data is Dead - For more than a decade now, the fact that people have a hard time gaining actionable insights from their data has been blamed on its size. “Your data is too big for your puny systems,” was the diagnosis, and the cure was to buy some new fancy technology that can handle massive scale. Of course, after the Big Data task force purchased all new tooling and migrated from Legacy systems, people found that they still were having trouble making sense of their data. They also may have noticed, if they were really paying attention, that data size wasn’t really the problem at all. The world in 2023 looks different from when the Big Data alarm bells started going off. The data cataclysm that had been predicted hasn’t come to pass. Data sizes may have gotten marginally larger, but hardware has gotten bigger at an even faster rate. Vendors are still pushing their ability to scale, but practitioners are starting to wonder how any of that relates to their real-world problems.
Meta, Long an A.I. Leader, Tries Not to Be Left Out of the Boom - It has long had technology to rival chatbots like ChatGPT, but can’t afford to back artificial intelligence that can spread misinformation and toxic content.
People are zapping their brains at home to improve focus and clear brain fog. But is it safe? At-home brain stimulation is flourishing among a group of enthusiasts, who say it gives them a mental edge. The science behind why it may work is still in the early stages.
Scientists in China are cloning "super cows" - The calves will eventually produce 18 tons of milk per year, or 100 tons of milk in their lifetime, Chinese scientists said. By comparison, the average U.S. cow produces almost 12 tons of milk a year
World’s fastest “shoes” increase walking speed by 250% - They cost $1,400 and will make you feel like you’re always on a moving sidewalk. Moonwalkers are designed to strap onto the bottom of whatever shoes you’re already wearing. To activate them, you lift one of your heels and give it a little twist in before setting it back down. To deactivate them, just lift the same heel and set it right back down.
Thanks for reading Box of Amazing! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.