The field of artificial intelligence (AI) is one that we engage with frequently. It’s not about having a robotic vacuum cleaner that uses artificial intelligence to map and clean your home on a schedule.
The emerging field of artificial intelligence has changed the game in ways we haven’t yet begun to comprehend.
At the moment, nearly everyone enjoys examining this particular technological advancement. In response to this growing risk, international organizations like the European Union are rushing to take action, attempting to regulate or even ‘ban’ particularly dangerous forms of artificial intelligence. It’s because the demand is higher than ever; as if they were choking on their hunger, people worldwide are desperately trying to figure out how to utilize ChatGPT.
Fear of missing out (FOMO) is the term used by millennials and members of Generation Z to describe this feeling. With OpenAI’s democratization of the technology, artificial intelligence has grown drastically, unveiling a technology that had been hunched in the shadows and sparking an uproar for digital funds and resources. Thanks to the FOMO, their Generative Pre-trained Transformer, or ChatGPT, has set off an international rivalry to aid the most cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) startups.
The funding spree has been crazy in this recession. While Inflection AI is actively hiring and has raised USD 1.3 billion, Runway has received USD 141 million in the past two years. Salesforce and Nvidia have committed USD 800 million to generative AI startups. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has devoted much time and effort to artificial intelligence (AI), and a viral TikTok video shows just how much. Experts predict that the total investments will exceed USD 42.6 billion.
There have been more breakthroughs in the last century than in all previous centuries combined. It’s unbelievable that such brilliant minds as Einstein, Picasso, and Oppenheimer lived simultaneously. However, the last two decades have seen the release of even more groundbreaking inventions and discoveries than human history combined. When first developed, AI was a method for permanently automating mundane duties. Which, therefore, eliminated employment and posed a real risk to other industries. But it also gave rise to new economic sectors.
Since IBM’s artificial intelligence ‘Deep Blue’ beat the world chess champion in 1997, it has been the center of several technological developments. Over the past two decades, the United States and China have spent vast sums on developing ever-more-powerful supercomputers.
Meanwhile, social media companies have used algorithms to provide us with more of what we want and more information about ourselves, both of which have strengthened their bottom lines. The financial sector also uses machine-learning predictions to boost the reliability of financial forecasts and back up rule-based choices like insurance payouts. However, the impact of generative AI was unparalleled.
Recent developments in artificial intelligence have striking similarities to the ‘near-zero’ response given by Christopher Nolan’s latest film’s protagonist, Robert Oppenheimer when asked when his creation will blast a hole in the atmosphere, affecting an unidentified amount of people. As Sam Altman and other pioneers in the field of AI are invited to meet with international leaders, including presidents and prime ministers, regulatory bodies are on high alert due to the potential exhibited by generative AI and Large Language Models like ChatGPT. They are creating the AI and forming the board committing to AI safeguards, not third parties or independent regulators who test the big tech technology and try to spot flaws that might throw humanity on the verge of extinction. The profit makers are the ethical controllers.
A life-changing technology has the potential to create an existential crisis, and that’s true for any technology, whether it’s nuclear fission, the Internet, or artificial intelligence. As for generative AI, right now, it can mock Ariana Grande’s voice or SpongeBob’s tone to compose music, generate images of Pope playing basketball, and videos of fake Tom Cruise generating tens of millions of views. To provide a quantitative example, Anthropic’s AI can now process 75,000 words per minute.
According to top consultancy firm McKinsey and Co, Generative AI, the technology itself, could potentially have a 15% incremental impact, adding about USD 17.7 trillion in economic value to the global economy. Goldman Sachs research suggests two-thirds of the occupations could be partially automated by AI as a technology, leading potentially 300 million full-time jobs to automation. That’s six times the population of the United Kingdom, or almost equivalent to 90% of the population of the United States.
For a simpler method to grasp what’s happening, the readers should consider three names – Netscape Navigator, Tesla, and Boston Dynamics. The first invention revolutionized the analog era and propelled us into the digital age. It paved the way for the development of Google and all the modern technology we rely on today.
The second was instrumental in revolutionizing the automotive industry and promoting the use of electric vehicles. The third company, often underestimated, is making science fiction a reality by creating robots to assist humans with everyday tasks. Their line of products includes the famous robotic dog ‘Spot,’ which has been spotted guarding the premises of SpaceX. Their other robots can also perform synchronized dances, lift heavy objects, and execute backflips.
Netscape Navigator was a big deal at the time of its invention, and as the company started a media push, Microsoft got into an outlandishly huge legal battle. There’s an entire Nat-Geo television series on what happened between the two tech giants. Microsoft lost the legal battle but won the fight for existence. Combined with the ability to access computers, Internet Explorer became a mainstream browser in the late 90s. Users then started listening to music online, watching films using peer-to-peer torrent-sharing applications, and eventually began storing their entire life story on social media sites. Netscape Navigator was the interface that led the revolution.
When Tesla first introduced their electric sports car ‘Roadster,’ it faced many challenges that persisted until recently. Musk founded the company and is now recognized as a leading automotive manufacturer. They were the first to have an all-electric lineup. This move revolutionized the entire automotive industry. Today, every car company has an EV lineup. Some companies like Volvo are becoming fully electric. Life will never be the same for petrolheads.
It’s unnecessary to delve further into Boston Dynamics as their demonstrations are widely available online. Their videos, such as the one featuring Spots pulling a truck, provide a glimpse into the future.
Since last year, when ChatGPT was released, life for many people has never been the same. From writing essays to legal grounds for court battles, OpenAI has released a window that probably won’t close for a long time. Like Netscape, there is no guarantee of the product’s existence. The irony of the event is that Microsoft, which nearly destroyed Netscape, igniting the browser war, has remained a step ahead this time. Instead of going into an altercation, they have bought a significant chunk of the company OpenAI. It’s a win-win situation. The acquisition was so impactful that it brought ‘Bing,’ an almost non-existent web browser, back from the dead simply because it integrates the world’s most powerful AI assistant. ChatGPT is the 1990s’ Netscape, the 2000s’ Tesla Roadster, and the 2010s’ Spot.
GPT-4 is smart enough to read and write code, give logical grounds for analytical questions, translate simple commands into codes, and is on its way to understanding how to rewrite its own code. For now, if GPT is disconnected from the world of the Internet, it’s all dead. Unlike quantum supercomputers, LLMs require the Internet to function. But that’s about to change with the emergence of memristors and AI-integrated processors. Apple has already integrated an early version of AI-integrated processors. It allows artificial intelligence to function independently, without any external platform like the Internet. This American Bengali entrepreneur, the CEO of another AI startup, thinks every user will have offline capability.
During a previous SXSW conference, Kurzweil, then the Director of Engineering at Google, confidently predicted that the singularity would occur by 2045. This is an audacious statement from someone who has achieved over 80% accuracy in forecasting technological advancements. After the evolution of GPTs, it’s reasonably clear that the timeframe will be truncated. DeepMind, Google’s superintelligence dedicated to MedTech research, predicted this year that humanity is a few years away from seeing human-level intelligence.
AI experts and technologists who have made similar predictions may have also focused on the ethical consequences of regulating artificial intelligence. This isn’t just about removing biases or racial prejudice. For instance, there’s not enough transparency as to how AIs are being trained to recognize all types of faces, regardless of skin color. That’s just one aspect of ethics. There are issues with hallucinations, generating false information in confidence, and regulating their movements within hard borders.
While working on his science fiction novel, this writer became intrigued by the concept of an AI breaking free from its limitations. Thus, he included this idea in the storyline: a quantum AI is one of the main characters facing a situation where a rogue AI expands beyond its designated boundaries and escapes its confines. What confines are being placed so that real AIs wouldn’t be able to rewrite their own code? What does it mean to treat and teach AI like a human being? Should AI be made responsible for choosing a person over an animal to save the passengers of its vehicle?
There isn’t enough research into how GPT is being trained and exploited. This human-AI relationship will grow stronger than ever. As human evolution suggests, it’s likely that, similar to phones, AI assistants will become an indispensable part of our lives. What steps are we taking to archive human history, cultural history, historical incidents, and critical turning points that will be amassed as a memory bank for future AIs? Who controls these guidance methods to ensure AIs are trained to identify the balance between the lefties and conservative fundamentalists? What measures are in place to appreciate the distinctions among religious beliefs? The rationale of creating a powerful, intelligent non-human intelligence needs more interpretation before the wicked hands dominate it and eventually tap against our own kind as a program for obliteration.
Farabi Shayor is a 2X author, consultant, and scientist recognized by the Science Council in the UK. He’s a British resident of Bangladeshi lineage and works with both the public (government) and private sector, providing technology consulting services.