Is ChatGPT the new Clippy?
Shortly after Microsoft this week confirmed plans to invest billions in OpenAI, the company behind new viral AI chatbot tool ChatGPT, some people started joking on social media saying that the technology would help supercharge the much-hated, wide-eyed, paperclip-shaped virtual network. assistant.
While Clippy may be a thing of the past, the company’s decision to double down on AI tools promises to do what Clippy never quite did: transform the way we work.
“There is a kernel of truth in the Clippy comparison,” said David Lobina, artificial intelligence analyst at ABI Research. “Clippy wasn’t based on AI – or machine learning – but ChatGPT is a rather sophisticated auto-completion tool, and in that sense it’s a much better version of Clippy.”
Since becoming available in late November, ChatGPT has been used to generate original essays, stories, and song lyrics in response to user prompts. He wrote summaries of research papers that misled some scientists. Some CEOs have even used it to write emails or do accounting work.
For Microsoft, integrating the chatbot tool could make its core software products more powerful. Some potential use cases include writing lines of text for a PowerPoint presentation, writing an essay in Word, or auto-entering data into Excel spreadsheets. For Microsoft’s Bing search engine, ChatGPT could provide more personalized search results and better summarize web pages.
All of the suggestions above were generated by asking ChatGPT different forms of the question: “How could Microsoft integrate ChatGPT into its products?” Microsoft, for its part, has said little about possible integrations beyond recently announcing plans to add ChatGPT functionality to its cloud computing service.
“Microsoft will deploy OpenAI’s patterns in our consumer and enterprise products and introduce new categories of digital experiences based on OpenAI’s technology,” Microsoft said in a press release this week, announcing the expansion. of the partnership.
When Microsoft first invested in OpenAI in 2019, CEO Satya Nadella said he believed artificial intelligence would be “one of the most transformative technologies of our time.” But it was arguably only last year, with several new releases of OpenAI, including ChatGPT and the powerful DALL-E image generator, that the significant potential of the partnership became widely apparent.
Suddenly, Microsoft seems to be in a leading position in Silicon Valley’s high-stakes AI race. He is now working closely with a company, OpenAI, and a product, ChatGPT, which allegedly caught Google off guard and apparently triggered a little frustrated from Meta’s chief AI scientist.
“Microsoft isn’t a leader in AI research right now, but with this exclusive deal with OpenAI, they’re going to be catapulted into the thick of things,” Lobina said.
The OpenAI investment was announced days after Microsoft confirmed plans to lay off 10,000 employees as part of broader cost-cutting measures. Nadella said the company will continue to invest in “strategic areas for our future” and pointed to advances in AI as “the next big wave” in computing.
Jason Wong, an analyst at market research firm Gartner, told CNN it makes sense for Microsoft to aggressively pursue AI, calling it “the secret sauce for apps built and running in the cloud.”
But there could be risks for Microsoft to use and be associated with OpenAI’s technology. ChatGPT and DALL-E are trained on large amounts of data in order to generate content. This has raised concerns about the potential for these tools to perpetuate biases found in this data and spread misinformation. For Microsoft, this could make it problematic to integrate the tool into specific products.
“Systems like ChatGPT can be rather unreliable, making things up as you go and giving different answers to the same questions — not to mention gender and racial bias,” Lobina said. Microsoft, he said, will probably want to “wait before letting GPT systems respond to online search queries.”
As ChatGPT has gained traction among users, a growing number of schools and teachers are also concerned about ChatGPT’s immediate impact on students and their ability to cheat on homework. Integrating ChatGPT into Microsoft products too quickly could run the risk that schools will rethink their use of this software.
Despite the issues that could potentially create negative publicity for companies associated with these tools, Microsoft clearly recognizes its opportunity to become a leader in AI.
“Microsoft continues to devote significant research and development to AI and innovations that require AI, such as computer vision technologies, but [these technologies] aren’t as obvious to its users,” Gartner’s Wong said. “It’s the ‘everyday AI’ phenomenon where AI is just in the background and customers take it for granted.”
With the unveiling of ChatGPT, he said, the potential of OpenAI was shown “to the masses”. The same may be true of Microsoft.