ChatGPT has investors drooling, but can it bring home the bacon?

ChatGPT has investors drooling, but can it bring home the bacon?

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When ChatGPT – OpenAI’s genius, witty and occasionally sleazy chatbot – was asked this week how much the company behind it is worth, its responses included: “It’s probably worth hundreds of millions of dollars, if not more a lot.”

Microsoft, which is said to be weighing a $10 billion investment in OpenAI on top of an earlier $1 billion commitment, is betting the company is worth much more — despite the fact that neither ChatGPT nor other AI models made from OpenAI are not yet growing. large sums of money. OpenAI has built some impressive and engaging demos and powers a popular autocomplete feature for coders provided by Microsoft’s GitHub. But despite the hype surrounding its technology, the startup hasn’t created an extraordinary, highly profitable product or business.

“We don’t really know what ChatGPT will be great at,” says James Cham, a partner at Bloomberg Beta, an investment firm. But while the robot’s path to riches may not be clear, Cham shares the sentiment of many VCs and entrepreneurs that the technology behind the robot will pay off big. OpenAI’s technology is at the center of a surge of interest in so-called generative AI, a term that includes algorithms that can generate text, images or other data.


Cham compares the current situation to the early days of the Internet, when a few dark but evocative demonstrations turned out to herald a sea change in the way software, technology companies, and wider society operate. “We’ve had decades of great AI demos, but this is the first one where you give it to someone and they’re really excited about the possibilities,” Cham tells ChatGPT.

OpenAI’s chatbot took the internet by storm when it was released in December 2022, demonstrating an uncanny ability to answer questions and perform tricks like composing mostly coherent essays, producing working computer code, and thinking about the meaning of life. It is powered by GPT-3, a text generation algorithm developed by OpenAI, which has been fed large amounts of text grabbed from the web and other sources and then given additional training on how to answer questions.

Some developers were so inspired by ChatGPT that they quickly used it to create applications, such as a spreadsheet assistant capable of performing complex calculations in response to a simple typed request.

But because of the way ChatGPT works—by finding statistical patterns in text rather than connecting words to meaning—it will also often fabricate facts and figures, misunderstand questions, and display biases found in the data. his training. This is likely to complicate efforts to make widespread use of the technology, for example, by mixing misleading or biased information into search results.

One reason for the tech industry’s enthusiasm about ChatGPT, fueled by its parlor tricks, is the suggestion that it could disrupt the long-held dominance of Google and other tech giants, allowing smaller companies to outbid much larger competitors. . A popular theory is that bots can transform Internet search.

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