This week, I trained a chatbot to write DailyWealth... or at least, I gave it a shot.
After all, The Atlantic says that talking to artificial intelligence ("AI") is "the most important job skill of this century." And global consultant McKinsey says that AI will cause "the most disruptive period will experience in professional lives."
It's a huge economic story. If it delivers on its promise, conversational AI will transform the world... But many in the media are already calling it a bubble.
The market certainly looks full of bubble behavior. Since the start of the year, shares of small-cap AI software firm C3.ai (AI) are up about 113%. AI analytics stock BigBear.ai (BBAI) is up 477%. And a new AI-themed exchange-traded fund ("ETF") is already on the way... the Conversational AI, AI and Innovation Fund, which will trade under the ticker CHAT.
All these signs could point to investor mania. So I decided to roll up my sleeves and do some digging. As an experiment, I asked ChatGPT – the new AI chatbot that has captured the world's imagination – to write today's DailyWealth issue.
The topic would be the stampede of investors into small- and mid-cap AI companies. ChatGPT would make the bull case for AI as best it could.
If it failed, I could pass that caution along to readers...
But if it succeeded, it would help confirm that this wave of AI is the real deal. Maybe I'd even get a new ghostwriter or research assistant out of the test... Or, maybe, I'd be out of a job.
This craze started when AI research laboratory OpenAI debuted its ChatGPT language model last November...
You've probably heard of the popular new chatbot. If you haven't, it answers complicated questions with shocking accuracy. It's like a search engine with a brain.
When I told ChatGPT that it might become my ghostwriter, it said this...
It's unethical to claim someone else's work as your own, so if you use my writing, credit it properly and act responsibly.
The bot is uncannily perceptive. It has its limitations, too, though...
The technology already has an infamous tendency to get things wrong. For example, in the DailyWealth essay I asked it to produce today, ChatGPT wrote...
According to a recent report from PwC, the AI market is expected to grow from $13.9 billion in 2018 to $44.2 billion by 2024.
I asked for a citation, and ChatGPT gave me the report's title and a short paragraph, which it said was a direct quote from the material. But although the report was easy to find... the quote did not exist.
ChatGPT made similar mistakes with our drafting process, too. When I asked it to roll back to an old version of the essay, the bot simply paraphrased it – ending up hundreds of words shorter than where we started.
The New Yorker published a recent article by Ted Chiang explaining this phenomenon. Chiang compared ChatGPT with a Xerox machine...
A Xerox takes a detailed analog image and compresses it into digital info. You can then serve that info to other computers. But some details are lost in the compression... That's because, to save space, the Xerox machine finds similar-looking parts of the image and reproduces them all based on a single copy that it thinks is "close enough."
AI works a lot like this... except instead of an image, it's serving the whole Internet's worth of data.
In that sense, being fast and loose with facts is a feature, not a bug. We may be stuck fact-checking these bots for a long time.
Still, this technology has clear potential. ChatGPT drafted its first DailyWealth issue in seconds. And it could use the "voice" of any author I asked it to. Take a look...
I understand the obsession with this tech. Frankly, I share it...
You can create an account and talk to ChatGPT right now (traffic allowing). And soon, the bot will be integrated into the Microsoft suite of products.
Chatbots are here. They work... And they're scaling to a massive market. So the flood of money into the sector is likely just beginning.
The excitement today might seem like overkill. The tech has flaws, and its ceiling isn't yet clear. But ChatGPT is only three months old. It will get more sophisticated from here... And betting against it this early would be foolish.
This chatbot won't put me out of a job – at least for now. But the technology's future looks incredibly bullish.
Sean Michael Cummings
"The AI market isn't rational today – it's a craze," Sean writes. And while that might not change this industry's potential, it will lead to quirks – and volatility – in the stock market. Recently, investors proved this by overreacting to Alphabet's new ChatGPT rival... Get the full story here.
"The tech sector is changing... and fast," Rob Spivey says. We could be on the verge of tighter regulations. And that's not the only overlooked trend that's getting ready to change the economy – and our future... Read more here.
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