AI coming to our search engines

Artificial Intelligence that can be used to create both written documents and digital art has created a lot of attention in recent weeks because of how much it could change how we work. It can do something in seconds that might normally takes hours or days to accomplish.

Currently there are two products that are available to try at no cost: Dali-E-2 and ChatGPT from the startup OpenAI. Dali let’s you describe an image and then creates it a few seconds later, such as “a cat sitting on a horse created in the style of Renoir.” While it’s fun to use – for the first ten minutes or so- it’s more of a novelty. There are so many decisions an artist makes to create his work of art, the result of Dali is just another interpretation, and usually not a very good one.

What’s more exciting is ChatGPT that creates a written response to a request typed into a text box. It already has a wide range of applications: you can ask it to create a 3000 word paper on a subject of your choice, write a story, a poem, an email, or even create filler articles for a spammy website.

Currently, there’s no way of verifying the accuracy of what it delivers nor of attributing the sources it uses. As a result, its output often has a problem getting its facts straight, and it sometimes simply plagarizes other content. I tried ChatGPT by asking a question about myself (see end of article), and, while it comes across with certainty, it made mistakes, such as saying I have written for particular publications. A major problem with ChatGPT is that it confidently states incorrect information as fact, sort of like a TV network that comes to mind.

But this is just the beginning, and it will improve over time, and revolutionize many things now being done more manually. In one of the first cases of it being misused, CNET, a once respected website that covers technology and tech products, had to apologize and remove 77 articles after they admitted that they were creating content using ChatGPT. Of the 77, more than half had significant errors according to TechDirt. CNET thought they could eliminate the labor intensitive process of reseaching, writing, and editing articles using their staff. But, the articles turned out to be inaccurate and plagarized other sources. But others won’t care when using the app. Expect the many spam content sites to use it to easily generate material as a vehicle for advertising and click revenue.

Chat-like AI is expected to make its initial impact in search, initially in Microsoft’s Edge and Bing products, and then in Google search, whose near- monopoly is ripe for disruption. They’ve even called a “Red Alert” in the company because of its existential threat to its huge on-line advertising revenue. Google is clearly worried and they just botched their initial response to Microsft.

But for now, Microsoft has a product to try. You can sign up to use their Edge browser on both PCs and Macs, as they roll it out versions with AI.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, told reporters this week, “It’s a new day in search. It’s a new paradigm for search. Rapid innovation is going to come. The race starts today.”

Using their reimagined Bing in a demo, a marketing executive at the company planned a five-day trip to Mexico City, identified the best 65” television, and then refined his query to find the best 65” TV for gaming. He generated a list of history’s top Japanese poets, augmented with sample haikus, and then put together a quiz about music in the 1990s. 

AI is an exciting new tool. Let’s hope it’s used mostly for good and not to fill the world with more disinformation.

A future product?

Now it doesn’t take much imagination to come up with ideas how this technology could be used to create new products. Imagine a product that examines all of a person’s communications over their lifetime – their texts, their email and their postings. From that data it creates a ChatBot that essentially emulates that person and lives forever, so that when that person passes, their friends and relatives are able to continue to communicate with them. Sound weird? It already exists and there’s even a patent for it.

An simple example of ChatGPT

I asked this question three times and it returned the 3 answers. Bolded words were not true (but it sounds good, and that’s the danger).

Who is Phil Baker the tech columnist?

Phil Baker is a technology writer and journalist who has covered the consumer electronics and technology industries for many years. He has written articles for a number of well-known publications and has been recognized for his insights and analysis of the latest trends in technology. Some of his writing has been featured in Popular Science, Forbes, and other prominent tech-focused media outlets.

Phil Baker is a technology columnist and author who writes about consumer electronics and technology. He is known for his informative and accessible writing style, and has been a technology commentator for several major news organizations. Some of his work has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Forbes. He is also the author of several books on technology and its impact on society.

Phil Baker is a technology writer and speaker who has written extensively about the technology industry. He has been a technology columnist for various publications and is known for his analysis and insights on the latest trends and innovations in the field. He has written several books on technology and its impact on society, and is a frequent speaker at conferences and events.

by Phil Baker