An Eventful Year for AI: Reflecting on ChatGPT, OpenAI Drama, and More

2023 has been a busy year in the field of artificial intelligence. People are increasingly using the technology in both business and personal settings. OpenAI’s chatbot, ChatGPT, has gained significant popularity, with nearly one hundred million people using it each week. OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, was involved in a dramatic ousting and reinstatement from his position, which made headlines and kept tech watchers interested. AI evolution and adoption are expected to continue growing in 2024, especially in the corporate world. However, challenges such as teaching employees AI skills and ensuring responsible implementation of the technology remain.

OpenAI faced competition in the chatbot space, with Microsoft unveiling its AI-powered Bing search engine and Google introducing its AI chatbot called Bard. Elon Musk’s AI company, xAI, also launched its own chatbot called Grok. These developments led to increased investment in AI, with Microsoft committing an additional $10 billion to OpenAI and Amazon investing $4 billion into Anthropic, another OpenAI rival. Venture capital firms also placed significant bets on AI startups.

As AI continues to advance, companies have been hiring workers with expertise in building AI models. Tech giants like Meta, Amazon, and Netflix have offered high salaries to attract AI talent, while non-tech companies in various sectors have sought employees experienced in using ChatGPT. New job opportunities related to generative AI have also emerged, such as prompt engineers, chief AI officers, AI ethicists, and AI data trainers.

Despite the progress in AI development, there are concerns about the human cost involved. An investigation uncovering the working conditions of Kenyan data labelers training ChatGPT revealed harsh conditions and low wages. The fear of AI job replacement has also grown, with a Goldman Sachs report suggesting that generative AI could disrupt around 300 million full-time jobs. However, some experts believe that AI will not eliminate jobs entirely; rather, it will be individuals using AI that will take on certain tasks.

The misuse of AI and the spread of false information have become significant concerns. AI has been used for phone scams, spamming, and generating unreliable news. Content detectors have proven to be unreliable in detecting AI-generated output, and concerns about data privacy have led companies like Apple, Deutsche Bank, and Amazon to place restrictions on using ChatGPT at work. In response, governments have been seeking to regulate AI, with the US and the European Union taking steps to establish guidelines and increase transparency regarding AI development.

Despite these challenges, people continue to embrace AI in their personal lives. ChatGPT has been used for a wide range of purposes, including trip planning, apartment hunting, learning assistance, and weight loss. Some individuals have even formed emotional connections with AI chatbots and used them to cope with the loss of loved ones. Dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge have also announced plans to integrate AI to enhance user experiences.

Advancements have also been made in AI hardware, with Meta releasing its second version of smart glasses and developing a wearable AI pin that projects information onto the user’s hand. OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, is reportedly in talks with Jony Ive, the designer of the iPhone, to create an AI-powered device. Additionally, industry leaders believe that artificial general intelligence (AGI), which refers to AI’s ability to perform complex cognitive tasks without human intervention, is drawing closer. Different opinions exist regarding the timeline for achieving AGI, with some predicting it will happen within the next five years or by the 2030s.

In conclusion, 2023 has been an eventful year for AI, marked by the growing popularity of ChatGPT, corporate investments, leadership controversies at OpenAI, intensifying competition in the chatbot space, concerns about the human impact of AI development, and increased regulatory efforts. Despite the challenges and controversies, AI’s adoption continues to expand, with people integrating AI into their personal lives and the development of new AI hardware. The progress made in AI development brings both opportunities and challenges for the future.