No. 45: All of life is a belief system
Whether AI will impact your life and work, it's true.
AI is speeding along and we slow it down for you.
First, some quick links:
Bearly.AI - a reading and writing AI app for your desktop and Chrome browser
Character.AI - have a personal chat with historical figures past and present
ChatGPT - Could OpenAI’s new chat replace Google? Try for yourself.
Packy calls it The Belief Rate - predicting the upside or risk of a company’s share price or future prospects. But a belief rate can also be applied to other life decisions - like making a career transition, forecasting the potential of a new hire, and even the state of marriages. Here, Packy applies his Belief Rate to generative AI.
In October, Stability AI, the company behind Stable Diffusion, raised a round at a $1 billion valuation. The same week, AI content platform Jasper announced a $125 million Series A at a $1.5 billion valuation. Presumably, most of Stability and Jaspers’ cash flow will come very far in the future, but investors were willing to apply a high Belief Rate to each. Why?
I’m not exactly sure, but my best guess is that there are a couple of factors. First, this generative AI boom was born in the bear market and wasn’t tainted by overhype in the bull market. It’s shiny and new when so much looks beaten down. Second, as belief in incumbents tumbles, it looks like there’s a real opportunity (and appetite) for a new paradigm, and a consensus forming that the next Google and Facebook will be built AI-native. Third, the size of the opportunity is so large that it’s possible to arrive at a billion-dollar valuation even with a lower Belief Rate; it’s easy to imagine these valuations would have been even higher in mid-2021. Fourth, the technology is mind-blowingly cool, and it makes people want to believe.
And finally, even in a bear market, people want to believe in something.
Read Packy’s “What to do when everyone stops believing” on Not Boring
Your Creativity Won’t Save Your Job From AI
Until recently, the notion that AI could match or even surpass human creativity was unthinkable. Conventional wisdom suggested that humans are the only ones with the capacity for creativity, therefore machines and computers were at a disadvantage.
Advanced technology ought to endanger simple or routine-based work before it encroaches on professions that require the fullest expression of our creative potential. Machinists and menial laborers, watch out. Authors and architects, you’re safe.
This assumption was always a bit dubious. After all, we built machines that mastered chess before we built a floor-cleaning robot that won’t get stuck under a couch. But in 2022, technologists took the conventional wisdom about AI and creativity, set it on fire, and threw its ashes into the waste bin.
Read further at The Atlantic
What to watch in AI
Venture capitalists are excited about the potential of artificial intelligence, and believe that we may be at the start of something big.
To better understand the state of the industry, ten AI investors were asked to share the trend they believe is worth watching.
The TL;DR version…
Copilot for everything. AI is already streamlining illustration, writing, and coding. It may soon become an assistant for all knowledge workers. In the future, we may have versions of GitHub’s “Copilot” feature for lawyers, financial analysts, architects, and beyond.
Tracking value accrual. As AI startups often rely on publicly available models like GPT-3 or Codex, some question their defensibility. The fundamental question centers around value accrual. Will applications that leverage GPT-3 successfully capture value? Or will it accrue to the infrastructural layer?
Beyond words and images. GPT-3 and DALLE-2 have attracted deserved attention for their ability to automate text and image creation. The most impactful uses of AI may come from the life sciences, though. AI can be used to design better pharmaceuticals or run more efficient clinical trials.
Improving interfaces. Interactions with AI typically take the form of a basic text box in which a user enters a “prompt.” While simple to use, greater control may be needed to unlock the technology’s power. The challenge will be to enable this potential without introducing needless complexity. Applications will need smooth, creative interfaces to thrive.
Addressing the labor shortage. Skilled laborers are in short supply as society’s need increases. For example, while demand for skilled welders increases by 4% per year, supply declines by 7%. AI-powered robots may be part of the solution, automating welding, construction, and other manual tasks.
Read all 10 trends at The Generalist
Till next time…
The most valuable businesses of coming decades will be built by entrepreneurs who seek to empower people rather than try to make them obsolete.
Peter Thiel, Zero to One
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