Artificial Intelligence Emerging Tech

Prime Future 130: Merry ChatGPT Christmas


Last week OpenAI beta launched ChatGPT, an AI-generated chat feature. Maybe that sounds simple or uninspiring, but once you interact with ChatGPT, you realize this is something new (and slightly addicting).

This leaves you with the impression of “wow, this is actually going to be A Thing, probably A Big Thing.”

If you haven’t dived into ChatGPT yet, my goal today is to give you a sense of what it is and begin considering the So What & Now What.

Let’s start with an example of a relatively basic question:

Not bad. Let’s get more subjective:

Interesting. We can also ask for something more creative:

I mean, I too, don’t care because I love bacon too much.

My favorite is the trick question:

Good to know. And then there’s this lol tweet by Anand Sanwal @asanwal:

“Most company culture principles are basically this level of drivel #chatGPT did this in 2 seconds You’re welcome”

Tech Twitter has run amok with people sharing ChatGPT responses. I love seeing other’s chat examples, but 10/10 recommend just creating an account and playing around with the tool. It’s hard to appreciate the magic of it until you experience it firsthand.

Until then, here’s how I would describe the obvious benefits:

  • the immediacy – all of the above responses were generated in <2 seconds
  • the layout & logic – the tool can structure an essay well or lay out an argument logically
  • the creativity – this is what amazes me most

But there are limitations. For starters, how you phrase a prompt determines if you get a mediocre non-answer or something almost helpful:

But, uhhhh one other clear limitation is that the current version of the ChatGPT model doesn’t ‘know’ anything post-2021. <clears throat👆🏼>

The good news is that ChatGPT seems to know its limitations:

But, of course, there are limitations….all technology has some limitations, but also this has only been live for like 10 days! So let’s assume it’s going to get much better, soon.

By the end of day 5 after ChatGPT launched, it had 1 million users. It’s amazing to think about how much training data the models are getting as people go nuts testing the boundaries of ChatGPT’s capabilities.

Ok fine, cool tech…so what?

In my mind the big So What questions are:

  • How will individuals incorporate ChatGPT capabilities into their workflows?
  • How will companies incorporate ChatGPT into internal processes? Into customer-facing processes? Into tech products?
  • Specific to livestock, meat & dairy, what opportunities will ChatGPT create? For food brands to engage with consumers? For producers buying inputs or selling commodities? For processors engaging suppliers, labor, or customers?

Many people way smarter than I am have been speculating on the So What, and the POV’s are all over the place, ranging from this:

To this:

If you talk to people about the potential of artificial intelligence, almost everybody brings up the same thing: the fear of replacement. For most people, this manifests as a dread certainty that AI will ultimately make their skills obsolete. To put it bluntly, we think the fear, and the guilt, are probably mostly unwarranted. What we’ve seen so far about how generative AI works suggests that it’ll largely behave like the productivity-enhancing, labor-saving tools of past waves of innovation. 

AI doesn’t take over jobs, it takes over tasks.

If AI causes mass unemployment among the general populace, it will be the first time in history that any technology has ever done that. Industrial machinery, computer-controlled machine tools, software applications, and industrial robots all caused panics about human obsolescence, and nothing of the kind ever came to pass; pretty much everyone who wants a job still has a job.

The principle of comparative advantage says that whether the jobs of the future pay better or worse than the jobs of today depends to some degree on whether AI’s skill set is very similar to humans, or complementary and different. If AI simply does things differently than humans do, then the complementarity will make humans more valuable and will raise wages. We think that the work that generative AI does will basically be “autocomplete for everything”.

I would just suggest this: whether your first reaction to hearing about this technology is fear or excitement says more about you than it does the technology.

ChatGPT reminds me of the saying “the street finds the use” for new technology. I’m curious to see what those uses are, what the business models are around this technology, and how quickly (or not) large language models like ChatGPT are commoditized.

While nobody yet knows exactly what the impact will be, it seems safe (and a massive understatement) to say this capability will have Some impact on Some people in Some ways.

Oh and luckily this rolled out just in time to liven things up if family holiday time gets boring. Merry ChatGPTChristmas, ya know? 😉

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If you’ve never felt older than after reading that tweet, you are not alone.

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