What more can be said about the AI boom that began its ascent less than a year ago? A lot! The potential of AI is immense and its influence on our lives is sure to be significant. And so I’ll continue. . .
In this essay I’ll focus more on Large Language Models (LLMs), but my thoughts apply to all other AI efforts as well.
An easy way to think of it is that LLMs will soon become the “autocomplete for everything”:
What’s common to all of these visions is something we call the “sandwich” workflow. This is a three-step process. First, a human has a creative impulse, and gives the AI a prompt. The AI then generates a menu of options. The human then chooses an option, edits it, and adds any touches they like.
. . . So that’s our prediction for the near-term future of generative AI – not something that replaces humans, but something that gives them superpowers. A proverbial bicycle for the mind. Adjusting to those new superpowers will be a long, difficult trial-and-error process for both workers and companies, but as with the advent of machine tools and robots and word processors, we suspect that the final outcome will be better for most human workers than what currently exists.
There seems to be an unlimited number of areas that language prompting + completion will enable. Some are obvious: a new iteration of Google, help with writing, content generation, help with marketing copy, etc. You see many startups and tools that have already sprung up to tackle these.
Some of the real interesting applications that are incubating now will have action models as a big component. Models will have the ability to take actions like: searching the web; ordering an item; making a reservation; using a calculator; or using any other digital tool that humans are capable of using. Imagine ChatGPT being able to confirm its answers with multiple sources, or having access to all your personal records it can use to assist you.
Prompt engineers are already discovering how much you can do with the existing models, without any new advancements or manipulation of the actual base model. Even if GPT-4 or an open-source LLM from Stability.ai take years to come out, the existing tools are enough for huge changes.
An idea maze for LLMs
The above is an idea maze I sketched out for products enabled by LLMs. The key question it starts with is “What kind of interface would the use have with the product?”Continue reading “The New AI Epoch”