AI May Be Like a Red, Red Rose: Fading Fast? Oh, No

September 20, 2023

Well that was fast. Vox ponders, “Is the AI Boom Already Over?” Reporter Sara Morrison recounts generative AI’s adventure over the past year, from the initial wonder at tools like ChatGPT and assorted image generators to the sky-high investments in AI companies. Now, though, the phenomenon may be drifting back to Earth. Morrison writes:

“Several months later, the bloom is coming off the AI-generated rose. Governments are ramping up efforts to regulate the technology, creators are suing over alleged intellectual property and copyright violations, people are balking at the privacy invasions (both real and perceived) that these products enable, and there are plenty of reasons to question how accurate AI-powered chatbots really are and how much people should depend on them. Assuming, that is, they’re still using them. Recent reports suggest that consumers are starting to lose interest: The new AI-powered Bing search hasn’t made a dent in Google’s market share, ChatGPT is losing users for the first time, and the bots are still prone to basic errors that make them impossible to trust. In some cases, they may be even less accurate now than they were before. A recent Pew survey found that only 18 percent of US adults had ever used ChatGPT, and another said they’re becoming increasingly concerned about the use of AI. Is the party over for this party trick?”

The post hastens to add that generative AI is here to stay. It is just that folks are a bit less excited about it. Besides Bing’s mediocre AI showing, cited above, the article supplies examples of several other disappointing projects. One key reason for decline is generative AI’s tendency to simply get things wrong. Many hoped this issue would soon be resolved, but it may actually be getting worse. Other problems, of course, include that stubborn bias problem and inappropriate comments. Until its many flaws are resolved, Morrison observes, generative AI should probably remain no more than a party trick.

Cynthia Murrell, September 20, 2023


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