Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly evolving and revolutionizing the way we interact with technology. From self-driving cars to smart homes, AI is transforming every aspect of our lives. The impact of AI is particularly profound in the tech industry, where it is changing the way businesses operate and compete. As AI technologies continue to advance, tech businesses are faced with both challenges and opportunities. On the one hand, AI is creating new possibilities for innovation, efficiency, and growth. On the other hand, it is disrupting established business models, reshaping the job market, and raising ethical and societal concerns. In this blog, we will explore the coming AI revolution and its impact on tech businesses.
So far, so informative, right? Pretty much. Interestingly enough, everything before this sentence was written by an AI. Seriously. And no, I didn’t have to spend months, days, or even hours developing a natural-sounding robotic blog writer. I did this in ~500 milliseconds and one sentence: Please write me a 100 word blog introduction on the coming AI revolution and how it will impact tech businesses.
The tool in question here is ChatGPT, created by the Microsoft-backed AI company OpenAI. You may have heard about ChatGPT in the last few weeks, well, just about everywhere. TV specials, podcasts, radio interviews, Medium articles, and everywhere in-between. Ever since OpenAI made the free research version of ChatGPT available to the public on November 30, 2022, use-cases for AI tools have exploded onto the scene just about everywhere.
ChatGPT is an AI chatbot product built on top of OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 Large Language Models (LLMs). An LLM is a neural network model, which uses Natural Language Processing techniques to train on huge, unlabeled datasets. Typically, LLM neural networks consist of billions of parameters and can perform learning tasks completely self-supervised. This drastically reduces the human time and effort needed to train a model.
Once the model is trained, its purpose is to, essentially, play a game of “guess the next word”. GPT stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer, which is a specific kind of LLM invented by OpenAI and pre-trained with hundreds of gigabytes of text data from websites, books, articles, and more. This intensive training allows the AI model to understand the context of different words in a sentence and how they are used. Over millions and millions of example text inputs, the model builds a probability map of word usage, grammar rules, definitions, inflections, and emotional cues. Once trained, the model can use this probability to build sentences and paragraphs - predicting each word at a time. And, since the model was trained exclusively on real-world text, it is remarkably good at replicating human-written content.
For a beginner’s guide to AI, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing (NLP), check out my blog on AI and User Experience.
Since ChatGPT (and other large language models) are trained on general content across the internet, they have a vast knowledge that spans just about everything. And, as they improve, the content they produce becomes less and less distinguishable from human writing. Even with the rise of “AI detectors” online, in the right context, ChatGPT answers are essentially impossible to tell apart from human-created content. As you can imagine, this is already causing a massive influx of quality content being written much more quickly than a human, and in a number of cases in a completely automated fashion. Blog posts, cover letters, marketing website code, and even entire legal court documents have been written by ChatGPT and used successfully in the real world. Any process that relies on human-written content will be impacted by this new possibility.
While there has been a lot of speculation (and recent doomcasting) about the upheaval AI will have on the way businesses currently operate, the starting point will be slightly more gradual. The only concern is that we’re already in it. There isn’t time left to pre-plan for the AI revolution - we’re here. Although unlike Skynet, this isn’t going to terminate your product use case or cause massive layoffs in the short run. What it will do (and is already doing), is allowing huge amounts of industry-specific and technically complex content to be written much more quickly and by fewer humans than a few months ago. Summarizing or drafting content that used to take hours now takes milliseconds. Custom code for a new website or mobile app can be written in minutes.
With this seismic impact AI will have on the way we all do business, it is also important to realize early on the potential for these tools to be enormous, positive value adds to your business. Small businesses now have the potential to create a virtual workforce in minutes to handle tasks that they weren’t able to support before. ChatGPT can be an entire marketing or sales department for a startup or small business. Ask it to generate advertisement copy, draft sales emails, create LinkedIn posts, and everything in between. And large businesses can use their workforces even more effectively by handing over boilerplate, repetitive work to AI agents and allowing their employees more time to think creatively.
First and foremost, join the AI revolution. At least at an informed level. Keep up to date with the tools and techniques being developed with these models, and the news and policy conversation around them. If you’re interested in going a level deeper, sign up for ChatGPT, or request early access to GPT-4, Bard, or any other new AI model. Tinker around yourself, and keep your business goals in mind. Could this automate repetitive tasks for your users? Transform your user experience by making it more personalized to your users? Help automatically answer support requests and troubleshoot issues?
Here at Lithios, we have been working with AI both to reduce our business overhead for our clients and incorporate innovative features into our clients’ projects. In recent months, we have consulted closely with our clients to design AI-powered chatbot and gamification features specific to their audiences. We are excited about building AI-powered experiences to engage and delight users and support future growth. If you have any questions about our product design and development process or want to get in touch, drop us a line here.
(no tricks, that was written by me)
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