Written By John Mancini
Well, we’re in the crazy phase on #AI and large language model, driven -- like it often is -- by radical innovation once a technology is consumerized (#ChatGPT). A small sample of some of the recent announcements includes Google Bard, Adobe Firefly, Canva new AI, Microsoft Loop, Bing image Creator, Instruct-NeRF2NeRF, and Ubisoft's AI tool.
Just a SMALL set. The always creative folks at Pitchbook recently published one of those cool infographics showing all the logos of generative #AI companies with >$5M raised that showed up on Twitter. I won’t link it here because I’m not sure that they actually published it and I want to respect their #IP. But here are the major categories and the number of companies listed in each…
35 - Speech and audio
29 - Text, chat and translation
17 - Image, visual and design
18 - Video
13 - 3D, simulation and XR
13 - General productivity
11 - Search
15 - Marketing BI and website design
7 - Code
5 - Music
29 - Health and drug discovery
17 - Other specialized verticals
26 - ML ops/dev tools
15 - Data (e.g., synthetic labeling)
15 - Infrastructure/research/model development
That’s a lot of innovation, a gigantic gold rush for the latest edge in technology. In turn, this has generated a host of articles, all lumped under a general set of warnings about #AI, generally concerned that the next stage will be Hal the computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey turning off life support for all of us humans. For example, check out OpenAI's new ChatGPT bot: 10 dangerous things it's capable of on the site BleepingComputer:
ChatGPT: 'Selfish' humans 'deserve to be wiped out'
Its lack of morals is a problem
It can write phishing emails without typos
It can write software... and malware
It's capable of being sexist, racist, …
It's 'harmful' to StackOverflow's business model
It could revolutionize the workplace
It could redefine supply, demand, and economy
It can't please everyone on sensitive matters
It's convincing even when it's wrong
The latest set of warnings came in the form of an open letter signed by a number of technology leaders -- Pause Giant AI Experiments: An Open Letter.
AI systems with human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity, as shown by extensive research and acknowledged by top AI labs. As stated in the widely-endorsed Asilomar AI Principles, Advanced AI could represent a profound change in the history of life on Earth, and should be planned for and managed with commensurate care and resources. Unfortunately, this level of planning and management is not happening, even though recent months have seen AI labs locked in an out-of-control race to develop and deploy ever more powerful digital minds that no one – not even their creators – can understand, predict, or reliably control.
Of course, trusting technology leaders to moderate innovation in the middle of a land rush is a dubious proposition. We’ve heard this song before with social media, and the end result is the virtual destruction of our political systems. And putting technology genies back in their bottles is virtually impossible. But trusting politicians to sort things out is also not an encouraging proposition -- a look at any congressional hearing involving Facebook or Google or pretty much anything technology-oriented is enough to drive one to despair.
Given all that, I’m not sure what our collective next steps should be. But I thought a bit of perspective about the worries and concerns associated with past radical technology innovations might offer a little perspective.
So I asked ChatGPT for its assessment, understanding this is somewhat akin to asking Hal what should be done about the astronauts. Here’s what it came back with…
What were the three greatest initial concerns or worries about the printing press (1436)?
Control: One of the biggest initial concerns about the printing press was control. Prior to the printing press, books and other written materials were produced by hand, which meant that the production of written works was limited and controlled by a small number of people. With the advent of the printing press, there were worries that anyone could produce and distribute printed materials, which could challenge the authority and control of those in power.
Accuracy: Another concern was the accuracy of the printed materials. With the printing press, it became possible to produce large quantities of written works quickly and cheaply. However, there were worries that this could lead to the proliferation of inaccurate or misleading information, particularly in works that were not subject to censorship or oversight.
Economic Disruption: Finally, economic disruption was a major concern with the printing press. With the ability to produce printed materials more efficiently, there were worries that the printing press would disrupt traditional forms of labor, such as scribes and copyists, and lead to job loss and economic upheaval. Additionally, there were worries that the availability of cheap printed materials would undercut the prices of manuscripts and other written works, causing economic challenges for those who relied on their sale for their livelihood.
What were the three greatest initial concerns or worries about PCs (1981)?
Cost: One of the biggest initial concerns about PCs was their cost. When they were first introduced in the late 1970s and early 1980s, they were expensive and considered a luxury item. This made them inaccessible to many people, particularly those on a tight budget.
Compatibility: Another concern was compatibility. In the early days of personal computing, there were several different operating systems and software programs available, each with their own unique file formats and hardware requirements. This made it difficult to transfer files between different computers and limited the ability to collaborate with others who used different systems.
Security: Finally, security was a major concern with early PCs. As more people began using computers to store sensitive information, such as financial data and personal information, the risk of hacking and cyber attacks increased. There were few security measures in place to protect against these threats, making PCs vulnerable to theft, viruses, and other forms of malicious activity.
What were the three greatest initial concerns or worries about the Worldwide Web (1989)?
Privacy: One of the biggest initial concerns about the World Wide Web was privacy. As more people began using the internet to share personal information and conduct online transactions, there was a fear that this information could be intercepted by hackers or other malicious actors. There were also concerns about data breaches, identity theft, and the misuse of personal information by companies and governments.
Reliability: Another concern was the reliability of the internet and the World Wide Web. In the early days of the internet, connections were slow and prone to frequent disruptions. There were also concerns about the capacity of the network to handle increasing amounts of traffic as more people began using the internet.
Content: Finally, content was a major concern with the World Wide Web. As more information became available online, there was a fear that this information could be inaccurate or misleading. There were also concerns about the proliferation of offensive or harmful content, such as hate speech and pornography, that could be accessed by anyone with an internet connection.
What were the three greatest initial concerns or worries about the introduction of Gmail (2004)?
Privacy: One of the biggest initial concerns about Gmail was privacy. Gmail's use of targeted ads and data mining to support its business model raised concerns about how much personal information users were giving away in exchange for the service. There were also concerns about the security of user data and whether it was vulnerable to hacking or unauthorized access.
Advertisements: Another concern was the advertisements that appeared in Gmail. Unlike other email providers, Gmail used targeted ads that were based on the content of a user's emails. This led to concerns that users' privacy was being violated and that their personal information was being used for advertising purposes without their consent.
Data Ownership: Finally, data ownership was a major concern with Gmail. With Gmail's terms of service, Google claimed ownership of all data stored on its servers, including user emails. This raised concerns about users' ability to control their own data and the potential for Google to use that data for its own purposes without user consent.
What were the three greatest initial concerns or worries about Facebook (2004)?
Privacy: One of the biggest initial concerns about Facebook was privacy. As users began sharing personal information, photos, and other content on the platform, there was a fear that this information could be misused or accessed by unauthorized parties. There were also concerns about Facebook's data collection practices and how user data was being used for targeted advertising and other purposes.
Addiction: Another concern was the addictive nature of Facebook. As more people began using the platform, there were worries that users would spend too much time on the site and become addicted to scrolling through their newsfeeds and engaging with friends and followers. There were also concerns about the negative effects of social media on mental health and wellbeing.
Misinformation: Finally, misinformation was a major concern with Facebook. As more news and information began circulating on the platform, there were worries that false or misleading content could be spread and consumed by a large audience. There were also concerns about the role of Facebook in the spread of fake news and the impact this could have on public opinion and democratic processes.
What were the three greatest initial concerns or worries about Twitter (2006)?
Misinformation: One of the biggest initial concerns about Twitter was the spread of misinformation on the platform. With its fast-paced and real-time nature, there was a fear that false or misleading information could be spread quickly and widely. There were also concerns about the role of Twitter in the spread of fake news and the impact this could have on public opinion and democratic processes.
Cyberbullying: Another concern was cyberbullying on Twitter. With its open and public nature, there were worries that users could be targeted by abusive or threatening messages from other users. There were also concerns about the impact of cyberbullying on mental health and wellbeing, particularly among younger users.
Security: Finally, security was a major concern with Twitter. As more people began using the platform to share personal information and conduct online transactions, there was a fear that this information could be intercepted by hackers or other malicious actors. There were also concerns about data breaches, identity theft, and the misuse of personal information by companies and governments.
What were the three greatest initial concerns or worries about the iPhone (2007)?
Cost: One of the biggest initial concerns about the iPhone was its cost. When it was first introduced, it was considerably more expensive than other mobile phones on the market, making it inaccessible to many people, particularly those on a tight budget.
Reliability: Another concern was the reliability of the iPhone. With its touch screen interface and limited buttons, there were worries that the phone could be difficult to use and prone to glitches and malfunctions. There were also concerns about the battery life of the phone and the durability of the screen.
Security: Finally, security was a major concern with the iPhone. As more people began using the phone to store sensitive information, such as financial data and personal information, there was a fear that the phone could be vulnerable to hacking and cyber attacks. There were also concerns about the security of the app store and the risk of downloading malicious apps that could compromise the security of the phone.
One of the new topics at the MER Conference this year will be the impact of ChatGPT -- and AI in general -- on the future of information governance. A panel discuss of AI On the Edge: Navigating the Perilous Terrain of Generative AI will include John Isaza, Esq., Partner at Rimon Law PC, Tara Emory, Esq., Senior Vice President of Strategic Growth at Redgrave Data, Dave Lewis, PhD., Chief Scientific Officer at Redgrave Data, and me (John Mancini, non-Esq. and non-PhD., but Immigrant Secrets author).
Here’s what we’ll talk about:
Buckle up for a thrilling ride as our expert panel of lawyers and data scientists navigate the explosive intersection of Generative AI and Information Governance. OpenAI's ChatGPT has unleashed the full power of Generative AI, and it's shaking the very foundation of content creation. But with great power comes great responsibility, and the risks of this groundbreaking technology are not to be underestimated. Join us as we explore the dark side of Generative AI, where data privacy, intellectual property infringement, and biased content creation threaten to take down organizations. Our panel won't leave you hanging. They'll arm you with the latest tools and best practices to protect your organization from the risks of Generative AI. The clock is ticking, and the stakes are high. Don't miss this thrilling panel discussion that could mean the difference between your organization’s success and catastrophe in the world of information governance.
The images in this post were created using the DALL-E2 #AI engine.