From ChatGPT to Google's BARD, AI is dominating the headlines. But what does its development really mean for technology, business, and society at large? This article will attempt to answer that question by explaining the fundamentals of AI, its subset of generative AI, and how they're both being used to revolutionize the way our world works.
Defining Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence, sometimes abbreviated AI, is a field of computer science concerned with the development of human-like tools, software, and systems. The technology aims to replicate the reasoning and decision capabilities of a real person with the ultimate goal of building something that doesn't require any intervention to work. AI is a broad discipline involving many subtypes of technology, including Deep Learning and Machine Learning. It was first conceptualized in the 1950s as a potential tool to solve complex mathematical problems with computers. Fast forward to today, and Artificial Intelligence has developed to the point where it's involved in numerous aspects of everyday life.
Common Uses of AI
The technological field has come up with countless use cases for AI, and as science continues to develop, its list of applications is only getting larger. Below are some of the most common places Artificial Intelligence can be found in day-to-day life.
Maps and Navigation: AI has drastically improved traveling, whether by car or by foot. Google Maps uses AI-powered algorithms to determine the best routes for users and can even make decisions in real-time.
Facial Detection and Recognition: AI can be used to detect and recognize faces, which is often employed in biometric security systems such as those used by Apple or Microsoft.
Search and Recommendation Algorithms: Search engines such as Google and Bing use AI-driven algorithms to display relevant search results.
Text Editors and Autocorrect: AI has made text editing and autocorrect a breeze. Autocorrect can detect misspellings and suggest better word choices, while text editors can use AI to detect grammar errors and make suggestions for improvement.
Robotics: Robotics is an area of AI that has seen a lot of recent advances. AI can be used to control robots, allowing them to make decisions on their own and respond to external stimuli.
Chatbot Technology: An Emerging Use of AI
While the above-mentioned applications of Artificial Intelligence have certainly had a major impact on the world at large, it's hard to compare their hype to the attention generative AI has garnered over the past year. This subfield of Machine Learning is focused on creating new things from sets of input data it's given. Text-based models are the most popular variety and are increasingly common in chatbots and document editing tools.
Here's a closer look at the three dominant names on the market:
Open AI's ChatGPT
Based out of San Francisco, California, Open AI is an American research firm that explores, assesses, and builds Artificial Intelligence technology. It was founded in 2015 and has designed and released several language models over the years, including Generative Pre-trained Transformer 1, or GPT-1; GPT-2; GPT-3; and most recently, GPT-4. The company is also the maker of ChatGPT, which it created with GPT-3.5 in 2022.
Open AI keeps its language models freely accessible online, allowing developers to access their APIs and use them for their own tools and digital products. Estimates suggest that the GPT-3 API generates more than 4.5 billion words per day across over 300 applications worldwide.
Google’s Bard AI
Google is the latest tech giant to go all-in on Artificial Intelligence with the beta release of its proprietary language model Bard. Emulating many of the same functions as Open AI's Generative Pre-trained Transformer products, this new service is considered the closest competitor to GPT-4 and ChatGPT. While Google has designed Bard upon its LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) technology with conversational and chatbot-related functions in mind, it reportedly plans to expand the technology into Search if things go well. This is a matter of waiting, as Bard was only released to members of Google's Trusted Testers program as of March 21st, 2023.
Baidu’s Ernie Bot AI
Short for Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration, Ernie is an AI-driven Deep Learning model designed by Chinese tech company Baidu. It unveiled the public version of its product, Ernie Bot, to investors on March 16th, 2023. This early version is said to be capable of solving math equations, writing poems, generating images, and creating videos. Similarly to other newly-released AI tools, Ernie Bot will only be open for trial to select groups of users and companies for the time being.
What Can Be Done With Chatbot AI?
Conversational capability is the prevailing theme among all three of the world's major AI models to date. The reason for this likely comes down to accessibility; while text editing tools and assistants have a lot of potential value, people seem to like the direct and person-like experience of chatbots the most.
The viral launch of ChatGPT last year proved just how powerful conversational Artificial Intelligence can be when taken to the mainstream, inspiring countless use cases and unprecedented interest in its technology.
To this end, people have discovered that they can use chatbot AI for a number of things, including:
Customer Support – Chatbots can be used to automate customer support, reducing the need for human operators.
Shopping Assistance – Many online retailers have begun implementing chatbots capable of helping customers find the products they need.
Data Collection – Chatbots can be used to collect feedback and customer data, providing companies with valuable insights.
Teaching – AI-powered chatbots can be programmed to teach people new skills or topics by providing them with interactive tutorials, simulations, and lessons.
Healthcare – Chatbots are being used to provide virtual assistants for doctors and patients, helping them with medical advice and care.
Social Networks – Chatbots can generate automated responses on social media for things like customer service and marketing.
The possibilities for chatbot AI are wide, with new use cases being developed every day. As the technology matures and becomes more mainstream, it’s likely that chatbot AI will become a critical part of everyday life. Time will tell what the future holds, but right now it’s looking like chatbot AI is here to stay.
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