Bill Gates says it will change the worldand calls it ‘the biggest revolution since the internet’, Yuval Noah Hararilabels it ‘a threat to society’. Generative AI like ChatGPT is stirring updrama all over the world. Have we entered the age of AI? We asked some of ourmost tech savvy members.

Everyone at Brain Embassy has probably already tried out ChatGPT. Maybe the tool already writes your e-mails or your blogposts?Almost overnight – or so it seemed – those crappy chatbots turned into smooth, articulate conversationalists. ChatGPT is the best-known tool, but it’s not the only type of generative AI that is conquering the world. Just think of Dall-E, that creates images out of nowhere.

 

The members we talked to are impressed by the rapid rise of AI.

 

Joachim Vleminckx is the founder of Eneos, a start-up that uses advanced AI-based algorithms to boost the energy performance in large buildings. “Open AI (the company behind ChatGPT) uses existing models, but it has added massive amounts of qualified data and continuing verified human feedback to those models (I believe 4000 trained people were continuously working on giving chatGPT qualitative feedback on what it generated). As humans, our time to learn new things is limited. There are only so much books we can read. AI has no limit. Even if we would live and go to school for a thousand years, we could never beat ChatGPT when it comes to the amount of data we can process.”

 

Rutger Bevers, founder of Conversation Starter, refers to AGI: Artificial General Intelligence. “That’s the holy grail for anyone working on AI. We reach AGI when artificial intelligence equals and eventually outperforms human intelligence. That moment seems much closer than we have always thought. It took the television, the computer and other revolutionary technological innovations years to break through. Just a few weeks after the launch, everyone was already using ChatGPT. The adoption happened dizzingly fast.”

 

“ChatGPT is the ultimate AI use case”, says Peter Wellens. He co-founded Revend.ai, that defends e-commerce revenue in real-time using AI. “Our technology is pretty complex. Off course, ChatGPT is also complex in the backend, but for the users it’s very tangible and understandable. You ask ChatGPT a question, pretty much every question you can imagine, and you get an answer. It’s that simple. I can explain to my grandmother what it does and how it works.”

Even if we would live and go to school for a thousand years, we could never beat ChatGPT when it comes to the amount of data we can process.

Blue pill or red pill?

 

‘You can have the blue pill or the red pill, and we’re out of blue pills.’ That was the title of an open letter in which Yuval Noah Harari, the author of ‘Sapiens’ and other popular philosophical bestsellers, sounds the alarm about ChatGPT. He says it threatens the very foundations of our society. Elon Musk, Apple-founder Steve Wozniak and hundreds of other tech entrepreneurs and scientists joined the protest.

 

Their main concern is that ChatGPT will not only spread disinformation, but actually produce it themselves. AI-expert GaryMarcus pointed out that AI is not honest and not reliable. Boldly stated: ChatGPT doesn’t care whether the answers it gives are true or false. It doesn’t care about the truth. It’s still up to the user to make that difference and that’s quite a responsibility.

 

Another fear of the critics of generative AI is that it will increase division, both within societies and between societies. When one group has access to technology that has all the answers and another group doesn’t, one group will become exponentially smarter while the other group remains in place. The gap widens.

 

Last but not least, there’s also the evergreen criticism on new technology: it will kill jobs. According to research from Goldman Sachs, AI automation could replace up to 300 million jobs. And this time, it’s the highly skilled jobs that are under threat. Is winter coming for lawyers, developers, copywriters,…?

 

The AI train is unstoppable

 

Are the Brain Embassy members optimistic or pessimistic about the rise of AI?

 

Rutger: “I’m not blind to the risks, regulation will be necessary. But the benefits outweigh the dangers. We use ChatGPT to help us write new code, the platform gives us step by step instructions. If we want to create content for an event for, say, CFOs we ask ChatGPT what keeps the average CFO awake at night. And then we get very accurate answers. The possibilities are endless, and this is only the beginning.”

 

Joachim: “This train is unstoppable. I am interested to see what AI will do to the job market and our feeling of ‘relevance’ in the next 15 years. Will we actually get to the point where we see massive lay-offs?Or will we create even more bullshit jobs that make people employed but miserable? We will see a massive increase of productivity, that does not require new jobs (and hence tax income supporting things like social security).How governments will handle this evolution might be one of the most interesting aspects of the AI revolution.”

 

Peter: “I’m definitely an optimist. Otherwise I wouldn’t have started an AI-company myself. Some jobs will disappear, some jobs will stay the same and a lot of jobs will be totally different in the future.That’s how it always goes. In the first industrial revolution, machines replaced the most dangerous jobs, this time they will hopefully replace boring and repetitive jobs. Technology always creates new opportunities. There’s still plenty of room to add value. The more AI will penetrate our lives, the more important the human touch becomes. AI will never be as empathetic and as creative as us humans.”

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Team brain embassy

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