As AI tools like ChatGPT, Bing, and Bard take over the internet, experts warn that the new tech could fundamentally reshape our economy and lives.

Is it a handy tool — or a ticking time bomb?

When Sam Altman was sunsetting his first startup in early 2012, there was little indication that his path ahead would parallel that of Silicon Valley’s then-wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg.

While Altman was weighing his next moves after shutting down Loopt, his location-sharing startup, the Facebook CEO was at the forefront of social media’s global takeover and leading his company to a blockbuster initial public offering that valued Zuckerberg’s brainchild at $104 billion. But just over a decade later, the tables have dramatically turned. Nowadays, the promise of social media as a unifying force for good has all but collapsed, and Zuckerberg is slashing thousands of jobs after his company’s rocky pivot to the metaverse. And it’s Altman, a 37-year-old Stanford dropout, who’s now seeing his star rise to dizzying heights — and who faces the pitfalls of great power.

Altman and his company Open AI have put Silicon Valley on notice since releasing ChatGPT to the public in November. The artificial-intelligence model, which can write prose, code, and much more, is perhaps the most powerful — and unpredictable — technology of his generation. It has also been a gold mine for Altman, leading to a multiyear, multibillion-dollar deal from Microsoft and the onboarding of 100 million users in its first two months. The pace of growth far exceeds TikTok’s and Instagram’s march to that milestone, making it the fastest-growing consumer internet application in history.

Much like social media in 2012, the AI industry is standing on the precipice of immense change. And while social media went on to reshape our world over the next 10 years, experts told me that the consequences of AI’s next steps would be an order of magnitude larger. According to researchers, the current AI models are barely scratching the surface of the tech’s potential. And as Altman and his cohort charge ahead, AI could fundamentally reshape our economy and lives even more than social media. 

“AI has the potential to be a transformative technology in the same way that the internet was, the television, radio, the Gutenberg press,” professor Michael Wooldridge, the director of foundational AI research at the Turing Institute, said. …read more

Source:: Business Insider


Facebook and Twitter scrambled our brains and poisoned our politics. AI poses an even bigger threat.

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