ChatGPT Killed the Old AI. Now Everyone Is Rushing to Build a New One
ChatGPT is possibly the best and worst thing to ever happen to AI
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ChatGPT brought a lot of good things to AI. Attention and interest by the general public as well as governments, increased access to tech previously reserved for researchers working on big tech, a healthy (initially) competition that forced product ideas and price decreases, and a lot of promises (some already fulfilled, others will never be).
On the other hand, it also gave way to a phenomenon that happens when a new piece of tech creates (not enters) a market. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad thing, but it has turned out to be an unexpected drawback: Modern AI, which is barely an engineering discipline trying to become a science (some have compared it to alchemy), is being pushed into the land of products, profits, and business dynamics.
The sheer success of ChatGPT (and generative AI as a result) attracted a lot of people seeking to benefit from this gold rush. That’s not necessarily bad (except for the post-ChatGPT AI influencers who profit from hyping progress) yet it transformed a research-focused field into a full-blown productive machine racing ahead to benefit a few companies.
Microsoft, Google, and Meta haven’t forgotten about research but production takes now the primary role. That’s where money is waiting to be made. They all have turned state-of-the-art research into products in the last few months (e.g., Bing, Bard, and Llama 2). That’s great for customers and clients, but not so good for science and research.
If the current thing makes money just great, why change it; Why make it better? Just make more of the same.