by Pat Rooney
While in San Francisco recently, I noticed billboards advertising generative-AI products. And while that information itself is not a bad thing, I couldn’t help but think back to the crypto craze and all the advertising schemes surrounding that nascent product. Generative-AI is indeed the next big thing. As The Economist pointed out recently, ChatGPT, an app launched early in November of 2022, reached 100 million users faster than ever. As The Economist pointed out recently, “Rivals jumped into gear (Google launched its own chatbot) and venture capitalists suddenly found a new darling, pouring over 40 million into the product in the first half of 2023.”
School administration and education officials, at once both fearful and curious, are starting to embrace generative-AI as a means of learning. The fearful fret about the potential damage done to critical and logical thinking, while the curious want to see what generative-AI can really do. The Los Angeles Times reported that one teacher uses chatboxes to show that “anything a chatbox does they, the students, can do better.” Kind of a keep up with the Jones’ sort of thing.
All of this generative-AI development is still in its very early stages and everyone is trying to find applications that not only work but are affordable, as well. Like any new technology, once the hype dies down the trick is to develop the profitability of these products. As the Wall Street Journal notes, “generative artificial intelligence tools are unproved and expensive to operate, requiring muscular servers, expensive chips, and consuming lots of power.” Chris Young, head of Microsoft’s Corporate Strategy, states that “we are clearly in a place where we now have to translate the excitement into true adoption.” As the hype fades and the costs escalate, companies will be working diligently to determine what can be done profitability and what cannot.
Generative-AI is here to stay, clearly, but how and the best way to apply it is still being sorted out. When queried about the billboards and the promotion of generative-AI, the investment firm representatives smirked a bit and looked at each other. The hype is over indeed.