Why ChatGPT has an iPhone moment (with a unique twist)

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Exactly three weeks ago, OpenAI released Chat GPT.

Since then, it’s been almost impossible to keep up with both the excitement and worry raised eyebrows around use cases for text-generating chatbots, ranging from fun (write lyrics and rap lyrics) and smart (write prompts for text-to-image generators like DALL-E and Stable Diffusion) to danger (threat actor use it to generate phishing emails) and game changer (maybe The entire Google search model [subscription required] enhanced?).

Comparable this moment in the evolution of artificial intelligence to any other technological developments? According to Rowan Curran, Forrester Research’s AI/ML analyst, it is.

“The only thing that I can compare it to is the iPhone release,” he told VentureBeat. Apple’s iPhone wasn’t the first smartphone, but it beat the competition with its touchscreen, ease of use, and introduction of apps that put the entire computing experience in our pocket. . The liberate, release, free of the first iPhone in January 2007, followed by the launch of the App Store in July 2008, ushering in a period of historic technological change, Curran explains — as the masses learned that there was a whole new world. creative world and the applications they can work with.


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It made people aware “that you can have this handheld computer that is basically like [having] a Star Trek tricorder in our hands — this thing has a lot of sensors and capabilities,” he said.

ChatGPT, like iPhone, is changing public perception

ChatGPT, too, is changing the public perception of what’s possible. But what’s happening now goes beyond that, Curran points out.

“I think what’s really unique about this is that we have a useful technology today that’s evolving very quickly, and we’re all learning about it in real time — both in terms of how to use it and how to use it. prevent its use. in negative ways,” he said.

He added that ChatGPT’s release and adoption cycle is also unique. “Having a million users in the first few days or so – even if we assume a quarter of those are double, that’s still hundreds of thousands of human brains suddenly playing with this technology , which is very different from any other way we’ve released and adopted technology,” he said.

Is this a responsible way to release ChatGPT?

While some criticized the way OpenAI launched ChatGPT — for example, venture capitalist, economist, and fellow MIT Paul Kedrosky recently tweeted “[S]praises OpenAI for launching this pocket nuclear bomb without restriction into an unprepared society” – Curran asserts it is “probably one of the most responsible ways they can introduce to the public about it.”

OpenAI’s approach to iterating on ChatGPT and showing it to everyone in stages is “a really good way to get people to adapt to this, because otherwise all of this would be done. appear behind closed doors at a large enterprise,” he said, pointing out that even for those who are intrigued and not shocked by ChatGPT’s capabilities, advancements are happening at a remarkable rate. .

“For the general public, everything will come right after ChatGPT, people will lose their minds when it comes out,” he said. “I think OpenAI is trying to avoid culture shock with what they are creating.”

Potential for seismic change in business

Just as the iPhone and apps eventually led to a revolution across all areas of business — from software development and social media to customer service and marketing — Curran said. Thinks ChatGPT and other general AI tools can make a “big change” in the business by 2023, if businesses and vendors think about how they adopt the technology.

“If we can avoid any negative, short-term, short-term press events around this, then I think adoption will be quite profound, because of current demand,” he said. is very strong.” “You see the ease with which everyone has integrated [generative AI] into existing work systems, with a bottom-up approach — for example, you can see this with Shutterstock, which two months ago integrated DALL-E, and now Microsoft has a product access beta called Designer, which is basically a text-image maker integrated with PowerPoint.”

Implementing best practices is still essential

And regardless of whether it’s ChatGPT or any other generalized AI capability, implementing best practices is still essential, says Curran.

“I think we are all still working together on what exactly best practices are, but there is no reason not to continue to implement best practices around understanding solutions,” he said. your supplier’s law. “If you are getting a large language model through a vendor, which model are they using? What is baseline training data? What is training data refinement? How are they testing this model?”

In the past, he added, businesses have been burned by new technologies. “We never seem to really know that when new technology comes along, we should think twice about adopting it,” he said. “But this time, because there’s so much potential for people to get involved at the grassroots level, we can really let people come in and say, okay, I want to be involved in this governance process.”

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