Good morning, Exchange crew! This installment will be brief because I have to finish prepping for today’s TechCrunch Live with Arianna Huffington of Thrive Global and Mamoon Hamid of Kleiner Perkins. Since we scheduled the conversation, a few things have happened, so I need to retool my notes and questions.
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The tech-narrative whiplash is actually what I want to talk about this morning. Now that the initial shock waves of the Silicon Valley Bank crisis have seemingly settled, tech news has reverted to type. If you read TechCrunch today, you can find meal delivery startups, chip news, funding rounds and a lot of AI news. Call it a return to industry optimism, even if the ground underneath the positive vibes is still a bit shaky.
The AI bit, though, has me utterly captivated. The more I read into recent advancements in the AI world, the more it appears that the tools that consumers and tech folks are playing with are not gimmicks sitting atop little substance, but instead lots of substance with some gimmicks resting on top.
By that, I mean that the consumer-popular stuff like using ChatGPT to, say, power the narrative for your next Crusader Kings run-through or having similar tools write silly song lyrics seems not to be the core innovation; what is underneath the consumer-friendly stuff is the real deal.
A lot is going on at once. From the recent release of large language model GPT-4 to the popularity and rapid rollout of new AI-powered search tools to companies like Quora and Duolingo finding ways to leverage the tech, we’re seeing both the speedy development of AI tech and quick commercialization.