scorecardYou might start seeing AI chatbots everywhere, thanks to 'the GPT effect'
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You might start seeing AI chatbots everywhere, thanks to 'the GPT effect'

Sindhu Sundar   

You might start seeing AI chatbots everywhere, thanks to 'the GPT effect'
Tech2 min read
ChatGPT's success could lead to more AI bots mediating how people use the Internet, tech experts said.    Getty/contributor NurPhoto
  • Microsoft's new Bing is powered by technology from OpenAI, whose megahit bot ChatGPT is reshaping search.
  • Google announced its own AI bot Bard, which is still being tested.

Large language model tools aren't new, but the instant popularity of OpenAI's ChatGPT has pitted Microsoft against Google in the emerging online search wars, and could even change how the internet will look.

Microsoft's new Bing chatbot, powered by OpenAI's technology as part of their "multibillion dollar" partnership, is still working through apparent glitches. (Bing's AI chatbot has already made a name for its feisty and bizarre responses with users who've been able to test it out).

But the hype seems still strong — Microsoft executive Yusuf Mehdi tweeted this week that "multiple millions" are on a waitlist to try the bot, and that it's being tested in "169 countries."

Google meanwhile seems to be working to push its own Bard AI chatbot out the door, with CEO Sundar Pichai urging employees to work to get the bot ready to deploy.

The technology promises to transform search from a mundane query that issues a page listing results. Insider's own tests of the new Bing, for instance, found it to be an interactive process where the bot could sometimes act like an assistant to quickly trawl through the internet to make specific recommendations for travel and sight-seeing or create daily schedules.

But that conversational, AI-assistant type model could translate to other activities that consumers do online, like shopping, or managing their budgets, or tracking their exercise, said Prasanna Arikala, chief technology officer at the Orlando-based company Kore.ai.

The challenge, as OpenAI's own leadership has acknowledged, will be to make sure that the bots provide reliable information, he said.

"It is definitely going to change the way that we live our lives," Arikala told Insider. "But then, it's very important to understand where the line is in terms of what to believe, and how to consume that information responsibly."

ChatGPT itself can also help train other AI models, Said Cameron Turner, VP of data science at Kin + Carta, a Chicago-based consulting firm that advises companies on using data effectively to develop their business. Turner also previously led a key data-oriented team at Microsoft called its telemetry group.

Turner said that ChatGPT could help produce organized data to transform information into fodder that can train other AI models on more specialized uses. AI technology is being developed, for instance, in assisting with health care research, to fight cyberattacks, and to improve supply chain logistics.

Using AI in this way can help "if you want to experiment in a low cost way, without making a commitment, without doing large scale data purchasing just to test the hypothesis," he said.

And it's not just the internet. Tech experts also said they're also hopeful that OpenAI's evolving language processing tool can enhance other kinds of cutting-edge technology that humans interact with. It could, for instance, help robots learn to communicate, said Tesca Fitzgerald, an assistant professor at Yale University who teaches a class on artificial intelligence, and researches in robotics.

Robots are taught and programmed to move, detect their surroundings, and navigate their environment, with each of those components requiring specialized expertise, Fitzgerald said. OpenAI's GPT technology can be used to help robots "talk" with humans directing them, she said.

"We could use GPT to explain to robots how to break down a problem into easier steps to execute tasks," said Fitzgerald.




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