- ChatGPT was publicly available 6 months ago.
- Chatbots have boosted education, training, hiring, and company stock prices.
- This was a black swan event – an unexpected, rare event that seemed inevitable in retrospect.
Bill Gates said the invention is as basic as the computer chip, the internet and the PC. Elon Musk wants to put the brakes on development. Warren Buffett is already comparing it to the atomic bomb.
These hyperbolic statements about artificial intelligence have been made in the six months since the launch of OpenAI, an AI chatbot supported by the GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 large language models.
Similarly, Google Bard and image generators like DALL-E and Midjourney ChatGPT can “generate” something based on a fever and fall under the new umbrella Word Generator AI. And since ChatGPT was released in November, it’s causing as much anxiety as excitement.
At least 49 listed U.S. companies mentioned ChatGPT in their May 2023 quarterly earnings calls, according to an analysis of Insider’s Alpha Transcript. It’s a sign that corporate America is rushing to embrace this new, important technology trend.
And it is not a mystery why.
As three researchers wrote in a recent article published by the National Bureau of Economic Research: “ChatGPT represents an important shock to corporate expectations.”
They calculated that companies with high exposure to AI had 0.4% higher daily profits than companies with low exposure after the chatbot was released.
Former OpenAI researcher Paul Christiano says society has “probably a 10-20% chance of AI control” that would “kill people” as much or more.
Here are the signs that ChatGPIT is a black swan event – an unexpected, rare event that has many impacts and seems inevitable in hindsight.
1. AI has come to work
The doomsday prediction that robots will replace humans is starting to come true.
An earlier analysis from Goldman Sachs in March said generative AI could significantly disrupt the labor market, harming nearly 300 million jobs worldwide. Coding jobs are predicted to be particularly vulnerable as technology displacement sweeps the industry. A September analysis by Microsoft-owned code repository GitHub found that developers using its AI Copilot tool were 55% faster than others to submit code.
Now CEOs are beginning to speak out loud in the quiet room.
IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said in May that the company would delay or suspend hiring for roles that AI could replace, and estimated that 7,800 jobs—mostly back-office roles—could be affected.
Google DeepMind founder Mustafa Suleiman recently called for a universal basic income to support what he predicts are the “hard losers” of AI work.
As Insider Hasan Chowdhury noted, AI may not directly replace jobs across the board, as companies can use the technology to make existing employees more efficient and effective to reduce costs.
2. ChatGPT has changed education and training forever
Students and some teachers were among the first users of ChatGPT when they realized its ability to prepare essays and help with assignments.
Reminders, false accusations of cheating from teachers, and creating a new sense of trust between students and professors who travel after Chat-GPT.
Beyond school, large language models have the potential to disrupt training even for seemingly elite professions such as medicine. One paper, which has not been peer-reviewed at the time of writing, suggests that ChatGPT can pass all three parts of the US medical licensing examination. Another experiment found that medical researchers prefer chatjipit to doctors because it appears to be more compassionate. Human doctors are finding that bots won’t be replacing them anytime soon, but they may have a few things to teach them about their sleeping habits. This is a very impressive prospect for the algorithm.
At the corporate level, student demand for ChatGPT has surged, with shares of education companies taking a nosedive in early May.
Chegg, which provides online homework help for students, saw its stock nearly halve after CEO Dan Roseweig told investors that the company had seen a surge in student demand for ChatGPT. On our new customer development.”
“We see this as a real, transformational change,” he said during his Q1 2023 earnings call, comparing the advancements in AI to other recent technologies such as bitcoin payments. “It’s huge because we need people to learn how to use these things.
Pearson, a fellow digital learning firm, and virtual language learning company Duolingo saw their share prices fall.
3. ChatGPT single-handedly destroyed Big Tech
In this sense, Big Tech companies have failed to talk realistically about big, ambitious ideas over the past five years.
Self-driving cars have stalled, Internet bubbles have failed to take off, and even opening brick-and-mortar stores appears to be a daunting challenge.
ChatGPT lit a fire under these behemoths, with Meta, Amazon, and Google all racing to talk publicly about AI and Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI after release.
Following ChatGPT’s work, Google reportedly announced a “code-red” and has been pouring resources into AI to keep pace and progress ever since. He also had to quickly establish how to talk about artificial intelligence, moving from high-minded ethical warnings to product outsourcing.
One is an improved version of Google Search powered by the new chatbot Bard, a direct response to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The company will integrate the technology into Google Workspace, which will feature the biggest innovations in its flagship products in years.
Not one to be left behind, Meta has also emphasized its AI credentials.
In February, the company introduced LLAMA to researchers, a large-scale language model similar to OpenAI’s GPT-4. A month later, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company’s “big investment is in advancing AI.”
Analysts have expressed concern over how much Zuckerberg has spent on increasing the company’s investment in AI. However, the lack of AI products targeting meta-consumers has kept it from appearing in the space.
Amazon, meanwhile, has been implementing ChatGPT-like features into a mysterious new home robot, Insider Eugene Kim reports.
4. Nations want to control the spread of AI
With AI threatening to displace jobs and even destroy people’s reputations, regulators have been closely monitoring how private companies deploy AI.
The EU has already taken steps to ban uses that pose an “unacceptable risk” while the Biden administration is meeting with major players in the industry. ChatGPT was briefly banned by Italian regulators.
Regulators may have been motivated by the growing chorus of warnings about AI’s potential. The UK government official met with Geoffrey Hinton, a former Google employee who left Google early in 2023 and who spoke candidly about the dangers of AI, dubbed the “Godfather of AI”.
Hinton’s warnings were first published in The New York Times. Similar concerns have been raised in an open letter supported by other AI heavyweights, including Joshua Bengio and Stuart Russell.
Even OpenAI CEO Sam Altman warned US lawmakers in May of his personal fear of personal misinformation targeting undecided voters.
“I worry that as the models get better and better, the users may find themselves picking up and picking up their own biased thought processes,” Altman said.
Watch Now: Top Videos from Insider Inc.