It’s an exciting time to be in the world of artificial intelligence (again). It would almost seem that such a statement could have been made anytime in the last five years, but let me provide a bit of evidence for why it is relevant now.
Generative AI has hit the mainstream. GPT-3 (Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3), DALL·E 2--a new AI system that can create realistic images and art from a description in natural language--and similar content-generating AI systems have increasingly opened new possibilities for writers and artists. But they have also raised concerns of the impact on their livelihood, the use of their works in training the AI models, or in some cases, even overblown fear that the era of general AI that surpasses human intelligence in all aspects is already here.
Spoiler alert--we are not quite there yet. The creativity in which artists have managed to learn and apply these generative AI tools in just a few short weeks is astounding and is a sign of things to come in the creative domain, especially when humans remain “in-the-loop.” It was, surprisingly, also a great lesson in the power of open innovation.
Stability AI, the company behind StableDiffusion, an AI art generator, opted for a fully open approach, releasing their expensively trained model to the public. Within a few weeks, the open-source community built a plethora of modifications, tools and extensions that vastly and quickly outgrew the initial ambition, including making this available on your iPhone. What did the company gain from this? Press coverage, an enthusiastic community of potential users, developers that might be worth hiring and, last but not least, the title as the next unicorn in the startup world, with its valuation skyrocketing beyond one billion dollars. Not bad for an investment of six hundred thousand into the initial training of the model.
So, I predict the year 2023 to be the year when AI-supported content generation is hitting the mainstream and might as well disrupt some established markets. Think about a text-generating tool that helps you when you get writer’s block, imagine a photo manipulation software that automatically generates a set of modifications, for you to pick and choose from. Imagine a drawing software that allows artists to quickly experiment with different styles and techniques and helps create new and original artwork. Disclaimer: I used one of those text-generating tools I mentioned to write that last sentence.
In my view, the year 2023 in AI will be truly exciting. Are established players like Microsoft and Adobe ready to take on their upcoming competitors? Can Luxembourg start-ups use the capacity of MeluXina to create disruptive solutions? Will the upcoming European AI Act hurt or empower the market in the EU? One thing is certain, AI will not disappear from our radar anytime soon.