Google Wobblies: Are Falling Behind and Falling Off Buildings Linked?

May 11, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_tNote: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

I read “Google and OpenAI Struggling to Keep Up with Open Source AI, Senior Engineer Warns.” I understand the Google falling behind because big technology outfits are not exactly known for their agile footwork or blazing speed. Let’s face it. Google is not a digital Vinícius Júnior of Real Madrid fame.  But OpenAI? The write up states:

Open-source models are faster, more customizable, more private, and pound-for-pound more capable.

Open source? I thought open source had been sucked into the business strategies of Amazon AWS, the Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure and GitHub. Apparently not.

I think the idea is not “open source,” however. Open source is a phrase which means in my view a heck of a lot of people fooling around with whatever free and low cost generative software is available. What happens when many cooks crowd into big kitchen? The output is going to be voluminous with some lousy, some okay, and a few dishes spectacular. The more cooks, the greater the chances that something spectacular will emerge. Probability low but a Bocuse d’Or-grade entrée may pop out of one’s Le Creuset.

Now what about the falling off buildings? I thought that was a Russian thing. If the New York Post’s reporting is spot on in its write up, there are some real-world consequences of Google’s falling behind.

Stephen E Arnold, May 11, 2023


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