Artificial Intelligence has seen many highs and lows over the decades, and it may be about to take off again, thanks to the ChatGPT chatbot. The big question right now is how important ChatGPT is in the world of Artificial Intelligence, and does it represent a long-term trend or just a short-term opportunity?
It’s a truism that there are no guarantees — maybe even more so for AI than other categories. We have seen many new ideas in technology simply fall flat after lots of hype. IBM Watson is a great recent example. Watson was an AI technology before we were even talking about AI. It took years to develop, then appeared on the TV game show Jeopardy in 2011 and won. Not just the game but massive public attention. It hit the top of the charts around 2016 with the World of Watson event in Las Vegas. Then, seemingly overnight, it disappeared.
Where is IBM Watson today? It’s still around, but the AI growth wave moved to its next chapter.
I believe ChatGPT is an important chapter in the AI story. But will it be long-lived? Or will another company with another technology take over after a while, just as Google did to leading search browsers like Netscape and Yahoo?
ChatGPT was released last November by venture-backed OpenAI, and seems to have taken on a life of its own. Many new investors, most prominently Microsoft ( MSFT ), are jumping in to support its growth.
ChatGPT is short for Chat Generative Pre-training Transformer. It gives computers the ability to understand and respond to natural human language. It lets the computer talk with the user — not in short snippets but in something quite like conversation. And ChatGPT does it really well.
AI using ChatGPT can be used to write research reports, articles and legal documents. It can write software code. But just because it can do these things, do we want it to do these things? There are real risks that face our society if we move ahead unchecked.
ChatGPT is young and new, but it has huge potential and that’s why it’s getting so much investor attention. Everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon and experience the incredible growth wave this new technology represents.
Point one: I believe ChatGPT will lead to enormous and rapid growth for AI.
Point two: It’s important to understand that this new technology is more like the Ford Model T than the computer on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. It will take a while to advance.
Point three: Will ChatGPT last, or will it just be one more step in a series of AI flashes in the pan?
Point four: Not everyone is happy about it. Not just ethicists, who worry about things like truth and accuracy. But competitors like Google, who are confronting a credible emerging threat to the search engine business.
When new technology is being developed and improved, the ethical side is often ignored. In the case of AI, this would be a disaster. Elon Musk has been sounding warnings about AI for many years, as have others in the world of high-tech innovation.
Count me among those who think we should take Musk’s warning to heart and move forward with our eyes wide open. To some degree, every advancement is a double-sided coin — improving our lives while also robbing us of other things we value.
This is just the beginning of the ChatGPT growth story in AI. It may be a great investment, but don’t set it and forget it.