Artificial Intelligence

How Network Effects Make AI Smarter

Harvard Business Review
March 27, 2023
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Photo by DeepMind on Unsplash

Photo by DeepMind on Unsplash


The strengthening of AI requires user feedback. As AI takes more of a center role in society with the adoption of ChatGPT, the race toward more comprehensive AI services doesn’t start with the machine. It starts with the user.

Late last year, when OpenAI introduced ChatGPT, industry observers responded with both praise and worry. We heard how the technology can abolish computer programmers, teachers, financial traders and analysts, graphic designers, and artists. Fearing that AI will kill the college essay, universities rushed to revise curricula. Perhaps the most immediate impact, some said, was that ChatGPT could reinvent or even replace the traditional internet search engine. Search and the related ads bring in the vast majority of Google’s revenue. Will chatbots kill Google?

ChatGPT is a remarkable demonstration of machine learning technology, but it is barely viable as a standalone service. To appropriate its technological prowess, OpenAI needed a partner. So we weren’t surprised when the company quickly announced a deal with Microsoft. The union of the AI startup and the legacy tech company may finally pose a credible threat to Google’s dominance, upping the stakes in the “AI arms race.” It also offers a lesson in the forces that will dictate which companies will thrive and which will falter in deploying this technology.

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Harvard Business Review
Harvard Business Review

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