There is a lot going on with the AI scene lately. The proliferation of LLMs is causing a lot of hype in the industry. I am super bad at predicting trends. We had this hype with a lot of innovations in the past and some stuck and some didn’t.
The super obvious comparison is cryptos and the blockchain. We all have this in our recent memory so the comparison is evident. Anyway there are many differences. Blockchain was a nice technology looking for a good application. Cryptos were cool but… to much incentive to do the wrong thing.
I prefer to talk about two examples of the past instead. 3d printing and the iPhone.
3d printing never lived up to the hype. We all were thinking of a world with cheap goods accessible to everyone instantly and it never materialized. I am not saying 3d printing is not cool. I have 2 printers myself but it never lived up to the hype. It is a niche market at the moment that is absurdly fun but it didn’t transform the lives of 100% of people.
iPhone on the other hand stuck. It was an immediate revolution and its expectations lived up to it up to the point where every telecom company had to create their own mobile phone. Today, we cannot live without our smartphone.
Where will LLM’s fall? God only knows to be honest.
Anyway IMHO there is also a super meta discussion about how society is behaving about these changes that is worth talking about.
Companies are running like headless chicken to implement everything on an LLM even if it does not make sense. The context is that of a recession and investment is going to AI. To AI we all go! No one cares about building great products. VC money is still more tempting.
We live in a society where a lot of people has a mechanism of talking. Everyone wants an audience when few people want to really convey a message. There are tons of press headlines along the lines of “AI says it is going to kill all humans”. The fight for attention is terrible where the fight for quality is not there.
The first applications of ChatGPT are spam based things. We have people writing 38 books in Amazon in a month and another submitting PRs to hundreds of open source projects with code that does not even work. We couldn’t destroy the culture of pursuing overnight success.
We have now an AI generating the text for an email that will be summarized by a different email at the other end and probably we didn’t need neither the first nor the second. We are living a new tragedy of the commons.