Generative AI Wars

Generative AI is a big step forward. It may not be Artificial General Intelligence. But it will take fundamental capabilities like search and chat to the next level(s). There will be Microsoft, Google, Meta and OpenAI competing at the base level.

There will be more companies making specialized expert versions from the base layer and there will be software applications (the Apps) at the top layer.

This is the next level of internet and mobile.

It will also be on top of a new level of drones, vehicles and robots.

There will be new levels of augmented productivity. Creation of code and content will be multiplied.

Speech and understanding of speech with devices is exploding.

14 thoughts on “Generative AI Wars”

  1. For some things is all right. The future will be interesting. If you can task future AI with things such as:
    Design z pinch nuclear fusion reactor, so it will be cheap, fast to build and could be used on commercial scale. Add detailed description so humans could understand it.
    Find out what compound expands human lifespan the most and explain why.

    If it can go through all scientific literature, experiments and figure way to make something new that works in few seconds – minutes(scientists would perhaps need years) that is unprecedented.

    I would suggest movie “Ex Machina”. I think it is very good and there are some decent philosophical questions in relation to AI as well.

  2. I tried to get ChatGPT to write some slightly mocking anti-MSR essay highlighting that we don’t have them today, while they were first experimented with in the 1950s. The response was from the AI was that it couldn’t comply because my statements were false and misleading and not accurate compared to a world wide web of blog posts that state the opposite. I argued with it for about 10 minutes and got it to admit various points it made were not factual, but it still wouldn’t take the con position against MSRs. Any student of expository writing has had to write arguments on either side of contentious issues… The AI has been out for 3 months and it is already a liberal parrot.

    Have fun with your AIs. They aren’t that remarkable – sounds like it watches CNN and doesn’t want to hurt feelings. Kinda worthless.

    • And nothing can still do a proper Star Trek starship.

      Here is an idea…tell one to draw a ship halfway between the Refit and FASA’s Decker class

  3. Just this base level is amazing. The idea that you can feed a machine with sufficient amount of text and it can select any piece of information from it, answer any question from it, and eventually write it as a code is more revolutionary than autonomous driving. Anyone whose job is to answer questions starting from many lawyers and doctors should start packing.

    • Yes, AIs could soon bring professional-like services for nearly free for everyone. And I expect a strong push back from those affected soon.

      Because the whitecollar professionals you mentioned will be the most impacted, and they have money, vote, lobby and have a say on political parties and regulation.

      This will be a tense situation, because banning AIs without a valid reason just because it’s bad for NIMBYS, won’t stop other countries from developing their own.

      This technology is at the front of computer science state of the art, but it’s also surprisingly mundane and affordable, once the methods are known. You only need an inout set (a few freely available), big enough commercial GPUs to train your models, and a modicum of capability, money and patience, with an economic impact that is multiplicated many times over.

    • Do we really believe that these LLMs, etc., will make any real difference in the world?
      Many thought that Wikipedia would undermine society by ‘dumbing’ down knowledge transfer and that Google, etc., would destroy all advertising, brick-and-mortar businesses, and those unable to provide effective linkage to their services.
      Nonsense. These are commoner tools that serve the average consumer in their side dalliances and irrelevant after-work search explorations.
      The real work still continues unabated – legal, academic, engineering, medical.
      Yes, Britannica and Funk & Wagnalls are likely in a state of decline – but who cares? Who used these but dysfunctional, precocious pre-teens from pre-2000.
      Yes, The Yellow Pages are floundering, but how many times beyond plumbing, fast food, and the nearest florist. Who cares?
      Yes, towns with main streets noted huge declines with Walmarts, Amazons, etc., but these were daily walk locations and had no real, long-term economic worth
      Yes, some say that 50% of undergrads use wikipedia and other ‘curated’ knowledge for their papers – but it is suspected that less than the top 25% in STEM programs actually make it, usefully, into those fields so unlikely any influence.
      Yes, some journalists, blogs/news media, stenographers, and junior assistants will be replaced by bulk content delivery – but who subscribes to those rags anyway? they get their income from ads that the most savvy web-users block anyway.
      No real Academics or STEM professionals or the Industrial/Construction base RELY on or are Productive from or are Inspired by this ‘distraction’ nonsense.

  4. It was way easier to find good data, info using Google, but now I agree it is way harder. You waste more time. There is so much crap and clutter on web. I think the reason for that is partly because marketing, better marketing gives higher position in search engine and the way they coded it. If you spend a lot of time on web, you see a lot of sites and much more advertising. With more ads seen they earn more money out of you. That is one of the reasons they want to keep you hooked to web and not to get good data sooner.

  5. We keep hearing how search is going to be so excellent but Google search is crap and used to be far, far, far better. I can search for stuff knowing it’s on a site and using keywords that should take me to it, and all I get is pages and pages of irrelevant returns. The problem is that I remember when you could use a couple of well placed keywords and get great results. Maybe they think no one will notice but I know. I remember how good search at Google used to be. I don’t know what they’ve done to it, but like a lot of tech software it gets worse and worse as they add layers of, something, to it.

    • That’s why LLMs that can read the sites and produce intelligible overviews will beat them. And not just by reading the pages, but by having the information people seek as part of their training. They should provide the answers in a single shot, with a few conversational refinements.

      Also, LLMs are like an order of magnitude more expensive to run than classical clouded workloads, due to their heavy use of power hungry GPUs.

      Theat’s bad for Google, because they already run some parts of their cloud business at a loss, in order to beat the competition’s pricing. This is mostly due to their still very profitable search business, which can pay enough to fund the cloud. Microsoft is less concerned, because they are already profitable without such measures, and they can afford to invest in pumping up their GPT powered search engine.

      Microsoft knows this, and that’s why they are pushing with GPT so hard: they know it will either give them a competitive advantange on search, or force Google to spend on LLM search and erode their own competitive edge. Hence the “Code Red” alert at Google’s HQ.

  6. I keep hoping for useful AI.
    I will know it has arrived when AI is attached to a recycling and garbage facility to profitably sort our disposables.

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