Is AI the new normal? You and AI News #2

The AI newsletter for you, your job, your life.

You and AI

In this week’s edition - Ep#2 “The new normal?”

  1. Where are you on AI New Normal curve?
    Who is leading the way? Will it trickle down to SMB?

  2. Has visual GenAI gone from gimmick to gotta-have?
    From visualizing song lyrics to fantasy art, now DALL-E is replacing stock photos and reading screenshots.

  3. AI Fuel and Brakes
    The UN joins the regulatory and ethics fray: but what do they want?

Where are you on the AI New Normal Curve?

In 2010, digital was the new normal.

In 2010, I saw Peter Hinssen present his thesis and book, New Normal, at the London Underground Museum in Covent Garden, London.

The first question from the audience was from a German colleague: “How do you know that the New Normal is EXACTLY in the middle of the chart?”

Steve Chambers

The audience was all tech leaders who’d been virtualizing and shrinking datacenters since 2004. Now we were moving them to the cloud. Online digital services were booming.

To us technologists, digital was the new normal.

Outside of Peter Hinssen’s lecture, the general public crowds in Covent Garden were likely non-tech folks who preferred paper receipts and were suspicious of us techies and our tech — if they noticed us at all, because were we “down in the plumbing”.

Digital wasn’t the norm for non-techs, it was a novelty… and 4 years away from Apple Pay (something that, 10 years on, some people still distrust.)

Back in 2010, the “spread” of the digital new normal curve was wide.

In 2023, AI is the new normal… or is it?

Here we are in 2023, with quite a few years of AI under some of our belts. Some of us are using it every day. Others have tried it, spat it out, and pulled the face of a baby sucking a lemon. Others (the vast majority?) are undecided.

The Public First AI report (n=2003) has revealed the different stages that the general public are at. Check out this long and detailed report. Here are some highlights:

  • 40% of current workers told us that they believed an AI could do their job better than them in the next decade, while 64% said that they expected AI to somewhat or significantly increase unemployment.

  • 62% of respondents supported the creation of a new government regulatory agency, similar to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), to regulate the use of new AI models. This was supported by nearly every demographic, no matter their age, political allegiance, economic liberalism or general level of tech optimism.

  • In education, the majority of respondents believed AI tools should be banned for homework and exams, but allowed as a wider learning aid.

  • The public seem broadly in favour of the greater use of AI based surveillance and law enforcement.

  • A human level AI within our lifetimes is no longer seen as science fiction. Even if an AGI was as smart as a human, or could experience emotions in the same way, most people think AI should not have human level rights.

Has visual GenAI gone from gimmick to gotta-have?

If you’ve ever built a presentation and needed a chart or images, or had to search Pexels or Unsplash for images for your website, you know how painful and time consuming it is to create images at work.

Can the latest image generative AIs solve the work images problem?

Negative! Isn’t AI all fingers and thumbs when it comes to images?

You might scream “No!” if you’ve ever seen AI art suffer from “finger problems”:

It’s fair to think, “If AI can’t get basics like fingers correct, what will it do with my presentation or website?”

“Anyway,” you might say, “it can’t put text into images so I still have to edit them…”

Maybe things are changing?

Positive! DALL-E 3 in the vanguard of AI images that work

The latest change to ChatGPT Plus is DALL-E 3. This plugin can not only do better images, it can do more “work-related” images like charts, and it can also read images. Here are 5 jobs-to-be-done at work that are changing right now.

AI Fuel and Brakes

There are two important lenses to use when casting an eye to the future of AI:

  • Fuel = Investment and research.

  • Brakes = Regulation and ethics.

Fuel - where’s the money going?

  • The AI Gold Rush: 💰 $2.4 Trillion Surge Propels Tech Giants to New Heights in 2023! 🚀 U.S. tech giants saw a $2.4 trillion increase in their market capitalizations in 2023, driven by the hype around generative artificial intelligence, according to a report from venture capital firm Accel. Read more here.

  • CIOs Forge Ahead for Gen AI Edge! 🌟— Despite Misgivings. As we near the first anniversary of ChatGPT’s public release, IT leaders are pushing forward gen AI pilots and production use of a technology viewed to be industry-redefining — and shrouded by unknowns. Read more here.

  • The Generative AI Takeover: Industries Adapt, Workers Await Change! 🔄💼 Historically, automation has affected workers with lower education and skill levels. Generative AI is flipping the script: more-educated workers will likely experience the greatest degree of impact, say McKinsey’s Michael Chui and coauthors. Read more here.

Brakes - where’s the regulation going?

  • From Pixels to Principles: House 337's AI Ethics Committee Sets the Stage! 🤖 House 337 established an AI ethics committee and guidelines, emphasizing human oversight, ethical data handling, and fostering human creativity in AI implementation. Read more here.

  • 🚫 Age Check for GenAI in Education: UNESCO's Bold Call for Regulation! UNESCO urged governments to regulate Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) in education and research, advocating for age limits and emphasizing the need for data protection and user privacy measures. Read more here.