Finding the Way to AI: What Happened Last Week

By Ben Dyer

Friday November 17 kicked off a week of consternation for everyone in the computing world and more particularly for the AI ecosystem. Every business news source you read has covered in depth the turmoil surrounding OpenAI and its leader Sam Altman, accompanied by Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella.

 

One might attribute this episode to the normal growth pains of startups, however big they are and no matter how much money they have at their disposal. In this case, a large number of customers and partners had reason to worry about how their OpenAi relationships and product dependencies would be affected.

 

Some have theorized that a major breakthrough in AGI may have surfaced from the labs at OpenAI and brought into sharp contrast the conflicting interests of those trying to prevent dangerous misuse of the technology versus the “full acceleration” crowd cashing in on a once-in-an-epoch abundance of technology opportunity.

 

Christoper W. Klaus (Think GA Tech’s Advanced Computing Building bearing his name.) posted a few days ago the following note.

 

“Prediction:

AGI will be solved in 3-5 years.

Q*/Re-enforcement Learning applied to LLM.

Improving small models, in orchestration for collective problem solving across all forms of problems.

Continual self-improvement, continual updating of the world’s info.

Generative AI for 3D objects, animations.

Self-improving Generative AI for full GTA-type worlds, with stories, characters, where it’s impossible to discern between real/AI people.

Consciousness is the simulation.”

(Note: GTA refers to the Grand Theft Auto game.)

 

I probably henceforth should be talking up Q* (called “Q Star*); this may be the next wave in the lexicon of AI. Try it on your friends.

 

The Klaus list portends the fulfillment of what Elon Musk was saying at Bletchley (per last week’s post) about there eventually being no need for compensated work as we know it.

 

Perhaps we should simmer down a bit and read some of the balanced yet accelerative-leaning viewpoints from articles that have crossed my desk amidst all the AI market’s daily intrigue.

 

Here’s one from the Harvard Business Review authored by Maryam Alavi of GA Tech Scheller and George Westerman of MIT Sloan on the subject of knowledge work.

https://hbr.org/2023/11/how-generative-ai-will-transform-knowledge-work

 

Here’s another from Accenture’s Chief AI Officer on the importance of incorporating AI in your business strategy now rather than later.

https://time.com/6339497/accenture-lan-guan-interview/

 

And, how about one more from ZDNet’s Steven Vaughan-Nichols on the implications for knowledge workers.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/will-ai-hurt-or-help-workers-its-complicated/

 

I believe it’s valuable to read such insights and to form your own opinions about how you will treat AI (and ultimately Q*) in your own business endeavors. Doing nothing is not an option unless your only goal is to check out for retirement. The events of the past two weeks have only heightened the urgency of learning how to reap the benefits of AI while simultaneously caring for your team and customers fairly and generously.

 

I’ll have more specific suggestions as December rolls around, and, as always, your comments are welcome. For a few days I hope we can close out this crazy month and try to stay calm like the Auburn and Alabama fans in this year’s Iron Bowl.

 

Let’s chat more, message me in the Finding the Way Community

 

Ben Dyer is best known as the founding CEO of Peachtree Software and has been responsible for numerous startups in both Atlanta and Austin ranging from technology to financial services. He is currently an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the ATDC at Georgia Tech and spent 7 years in starting in 2011 in similar roles at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a prolific writer and has written many hundreds of blog posts on entrepreneurial topics. Among numerous honors, he is a member of the Georgia Technology Hall of Fame.

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