Me, Myself, & A.I.

OpenAI C.E.O. Sam Altman, announcing ChatGPT’s integration with Microsoft Bing.
OpenAI C.E.O. Sam Altman announcing ChatGPT’s integration with Microsoft Bing in February. Photo: Jason Redmond / AFP
Baratunde Thurston
March 5, 2023

It’s been three months since I wrote about ChatGPT and the implications of generative A.I. models. In the intervening time, I’ve experimented, been impressed, been scammed, and now I’m back with a set of updated observations on this trend that might never go away. Herewith, five observations about the present and future of A.I. right now.

I. This Time Is Different

We’ve experienced a lot of technology hype over the past few years: crypto, Web3, and the metaverse, etcetera. In each of those cases, proponents made bold claims about how the technology would change everything. In some cases, it started to: venture capitalists invested billions in dubious startups; tech workers fled traditional tech for web3 concepts; your relatives and rideshare drivers all started talking to you about crypto. 

But in all cases, the momentum waned. The government is coming for crypto after the collapse of various coins and exchanges. Web3 is still hard to define. Mark Zuckerberg changed the name of his entire company just to ride the trending topic of the metaverse, but in his latest earnings call he barely mentioned the technology, instead suggesting that 2023 would be “the year of efficiency.” I’m surprised he didn’t change the company name to Net Profits.