As AI booms, Silicon Valley faces another make-or-break moment
The Washington Post
March 20, 2023 at 7:00 a.m. EDT
Paradigm shifts happen relatively often in the tech sector, about every 15 years or so. Because of the speed at which technology replaces itself, and the trillions of dollars at play, the stakes of each upheaval are almost unimaginably high.
We are now at the dawn of just such a shake-up. After decades of big promises and false starts, artificial intelligence finally appears to be entering something like commercial reality. This frenzied moment — complete with the biggest firms in full-freakout-mode over whether they’ll surf the trend or be swamped by it — can be traced to a subgenre of software known as generative AI that produces seemingly original responses to an infinite number of queries.
The best known of these, of course, is ChatGPT, a text-response tool offered by the Microsoft-backed start-up firm OpenAI. ChatGPT has received so much publicity that you’d be forgiven for thinking it already has won the war. It hasn’t. But it has won the first round by expanding the audience far beyond tech-obsessed types and for ringing the bell in a survival contest worthy of the Hunger Games.
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