Three Things I Learned About AI This Week

Until this week, my experience with AI was playing around with ChatGPT and Jasper, but this year, I decided to learn more and go deeper. 

I attended the GenAI Conference, hosted by Jasper, in San Francisco.  I read Futureproof: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation by Kevin Roose (the same guy who reported on his creepy conversations with Bing’s new AI).  I read the first 100 pages of The Age of AI and Our Human Future.  And I dove into several AI podcasts including The Marketing AI Show, AI Today, Last Week in AI, and Hard Fork.

I also played around with ChatGPT (upgrading to the $20/month pro version), Jasper (which I do like better than ChatGPT), and a few of the photo generation tools.

I am still very much a novice, but here are three things I learned this week.

#1 – ChatGPT is a TOY compared to what’s coming. 

AI has already been here and is influencing all of us more than we may realize, but we’re still very much playing around with the consumer-centric, toy-versions of what will happen soon.  I remember when Apple launched the App store and people were downloading digital lighters for conferences and point and click games like which men’s urinal to use. 

Sure, ChatGPT grew to 1 million users in 5 days, but I think the experts are right when they say 2023 is the year AI goes mainstream.  It will be integrated into all kinds of businesses and scenarios. 

And the tools we use won’t be toys.

#2 – Significant investments are being made. 

Google invested $300m in Anthropic to go along with tons of previous investments in various companies.  Microsoft announced a multi-billion-dollar investment in OpenAI and is integrating the technology into a new Bing.

Really, all of the big players have been and are doubling down on their investment into AI tech, including research, development, and commercial uses.

#3 – It’s not that we will use this, but how. 

I’m researching through two lenses – one is being CEO of a content-driven company.  These tools ARE going to change how we work.  I’m also evaluating everything through the lens of pastors and church leaders, particularly wondering how these tools will be used in an ethical way. I wonder about responsible use of AI by pastors.

I like the story Kevin Roose told in Future Proof about the guy who runs an accounting firm who knows tax prep will be handed over to computers even more in the future.  He sends his accountants to improv class and focuses on human relationships.  His competitive advantage isn’t speed or even accuracy, but making customers feel a certain way.