The AI inflection Point
Is Singularity the Next Stop or is ChatGPT just a bad psychedelic trip?
Folks this stuff on GenAI (short for generative AI), LLMs and generalized “Artificial Intelligences”, abbreviated AIs, is at the same time wondrous and unsettling. Are we experiencing a an explosive hype-cycle or are we at a true inflection point of ascent that will change the world, that will redefine the way we live our lives? I will bet on the latter. Here are a few reflections on this technology that is filling today’s media, academic and industry literature. Let’s start with an exercise in amusement.
The Psychedelic surprise of generative AI
First, have you noticed how we speak about AI? Have you noticed how we use the plural? Just as in real life we have specialists and subject matter experts for specific disciplines, so too are specialized the the techniques of AI. Each specific AI can be based on advanced computer programs that are trained to perform and assist with domain specific tasks. For example consider a program built and trained to understand mammograms and detect early stage breast cancer. On the other hand, consider programs and models that are trained to write essays about the American Civil War. How about an AI that is capable of writing a fictitious letter to Dante’s Beatrice. Well, that is something we can achieve today .
We can get there with a minimal set of prompts and context provided to ChatGPT. Readers, for faster reading, feel free to skim over the generated text.
Let’s start with the following prompt spelled out in natural language, just as if I were chatting in person with a real life interlocutor. : “Write an opening salutation that Dante Alighieri would say to Beatrice as he travels across the France of the 1300's.”.
Amazingly , I get back the following generated narrative.
As I journey through the picturesque landscapes of France, my heart cannot help but be consumed by your ethereal presence. The roads I traverse seem to pale in comparison to the radiance of your smile, and the beauty of nature around me finds its greatest expression in the grace you bestow upon this world.
With each passing day, I find myself…