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  • Writer's pictureMandlenkosi Arthur Moyo

What Is Happening To Artificial Intelligence?

ChatGPT responding to a question about creativity in computers
ChatGPT responding to a question about creativity in computers. Photograph: Ascannio/Alamy

Artificial Intelligence (AI), once hailed as a revolutionary development following the emergence of Web 2.0, is seemingly in recession, limited to primarily chatbots and hallucinogenic and biased generative AI models.

Since the renewed AI boom last year following the launch of ChatGPT, there developed among people this notion of AI as a smarter entity than human beings, a threat to people and a creation that was potentially going to surpass its master in terms of intelligence. People were mesmerised by the products (images and texts) they could create using only a few text prompts.

The boom saw AI being widely adopted by people and companies alike. ChatGPT reached 1 million subscribers in three months, which was the fastest time to 1 million subscribers taken by a platform before Threads surpassed this recently. Currently, there are many AI platforms which include ChatGPT, Google Bard, Bing Chat, generative AI such as Tome and Dall-E2, and countless chatbots. The AI boom was said to have the potential to render search engines obsolete.

Current sentiments couldn’t be further from these expectations people held about the fourth industrial revolution. For instance, AI has caused an ethical stir as some AI companies have been reported to access private and personal data to teach their AI products how to respond to prompts. Issues to do with racial bias and hallucinations have also been the order of the day.

What had been earmarked to be the biggest revolution of the year, and possibly decade, has taken a downward slope as AI platforms have also started to see less interest from users as compared to a few months back.

Given all these occurrences, one might wonder what the future of AI looks like. Will it continue its downward slope? Since AI learns from public data, if what we produce currently is AI-generated, then that would suggest that all AI is basically recycling its own information, feeding into its biases and errors. It might also then dismiss AI as intelligent because it doesn't create information and products, but rather reproduces them from existing human knowledge. To be fair, AI companies such as OpenAI notice the harmful bias AI holds and have taken steps to address it through their GPT 4 Large Language Model.

'All generative AI does is remix and regurgitate stuff in its source material. It’s not magic.' Meredith Broussard

On the other hand, if machine learning were to improve, that would ease productivity among human beings with AI as its aid in sectors such as finance, science, manufacturing, health, education and the creative arts, especially in developing countries where a number of sectors are lagging behind.

With that being said, it is clear that AI has a lot of potential, and it's still underdeveloped. AI is yet to find its feet and lead the revolution it once promised to be in a positive manner.

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