AI’s Impact on the Web Is Growing
When your grandkids ask you where you were when AI took over, you’ll be reminiscing about February 2023.
First, we felt a great disturbance in AI, as if millions of chatbots cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. ChatGPT has reached capacity.
In addition to derailing the plans of thousands of indy-developers, there are ethical questions about an AI that is trained on other people’s content, questions that were less pressing when access was free.
Google has dominated search for a long time. Its main strength has been its jealously guarded algorithm.
When Microsoft — no stranger itself to monopolies — launched Bing, there was speculation that Google would lose its dominance. But the move away from Google never materialized.
Bing Chat is powered by ChatGPT — Microsoft is presumably paying $20/month for priority access.
The move from search engines directing users to results hosted on sites to search engines taking, rewriting, and presenting answers as their own will make the fuss over AMP pale into insignificance.
Google is generally regarded as one of the leading lights in AI research, so being caught napping when it can to AI search integration must have stung someone into pushing the launch button too soon.
In a preview video intended to take the wind out of Microsoft’s sails, Bard was asked, “What new discoveries from the James Webb space telescope can I tell my nine-year-old about?” The response from Bard stated the JWST took the very first pictures of a planet outside of Earth‘s solar system. However, those very first photos were actually taken in 2004, 17 years before the JWST was launched.
And just like that, $100 billion was wiped off (Google parent company) Alphabet‘s share price.
As Google spokespeople were quick to point out, Bard is still being tested and will be much more powerful when using the full version of LaMDA. But the error highlights one of the biggest problems with AI content: It is not only highly inaccurate but also extremely convincing, making errors difficult to spot.
There are so many ethical, technical, and cultural questions surrounding AI that it’s impossible to know where this is heading.
One thing is certain: something changed this week. We’ve seen the first exchanges in a competition that will transform the web over the next decade.
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