From June 27 to June 29, the Focus21 team attended Collision 2023 in Toronto. This annual conference gathers developers, engineers, start-up founders, investors, journalists, and many others who are interested in new technologies. It's also notable for its speakers, whose opinions are very important for the entire tech industry.
The main topic of discussion on Centre Stage and other platforms of the conference turned out to be generative AI. We managed to count dozens of mentions of artificial intelligence just in the titles of speakers' presentations at Collision 2023. Last year, nothing like this was even discussed.
The widespread implementation of artificial intelligence in various fields inspires some people. Others, however, are afraid for the safety of the data that they will have to trust to it, they are convinced that the rapid development of relevant technologies needs to be decisively slowed down for this reason.
At Focus21, we believe that artificial intelligence in the foreseeable future may become the next stage in the digitization of any business, regardless of its size. Ultimately, it will certainly become a reliable tool that will help maximize productivity, reduce costs, and increase profits.
Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence designed to create a wide variety of content: texts, images, videos, music, and so on. It is initially trained on thematic templates for a long time, then it generates something independently.
Today, generative AI is capable of creating very complex and fairly realistic content that mimics human creativity. This makes it an incredibly useful tool that can be used in software development, product design, and the modern gaming industry.
The biggest breakthroughs in the field of generative AI today are considered to be technologies such as ChatGPT and DALL-E from OpenAI, as well as Midjourney. The first can provide textual responses to almost any questions, while the latter two can help create all sorts of images in various styles based on just a description.
Their work is still far from ideal today, but in skilled hands, they are already capable of a lot. For example, with ChatGPT, you can get viable code for an entire application. However, it's important to understand that it will be absolutely useless without a person who can figure out its details.
In May 2023, the number of active users of ChatGPT surpassed 100 million. Moreover, the official site of OpenAI, the company that developed the technology, receives over 1.8 billion visitors per month. The results are simply astounding, but generative AI isn't just about text.
Currently, the technology that attracts the most interest is OpenAI's text generation capability, which is implemented in ChatGPT. It uses an intricate system of templates that helps to generate something new based on fragments added to the system's database.
As of the time of writing this article (July 2023), the information that ChatGPT operates with includes books, web pages, and other texts up to September 2021. Until recently, a beta version was also utilizing Bing-based information search, but it is currently unavailable.
ChatGPT can be used to create product descriptions, SEO texts for websites, and generate entire stories. Interestingly, the technology also allows you to regulate the 'temperature' of what it writes. This means you can adjust the emotional content of fragments from highly academic and polite to completely informal.
In the image generation segment, OpenAI's DALL-E 2 and Midjourney are leading the pack. The former can create photorealistic images, while the latter can generate an illustration in practically any style based on a given description.
Generative AI technologies, such as Synthesia and DeepBrain, provide the capability to create entire videos. For each subsequent frame, they use information from the previous one and predict possible object behaviors. They typically also generate voice based on standard text.
Generative AI has a very broad scope of application, which goes beyond everything described above. It can even be used in the medical field, developing new drugs and planning their trials. The technology also helps to expand content selections.
During her presentation at the Centre Stage of Collision 2023 conference, Sarah Guo, founder at Conviction, noted that many business processes can be optimized with generative AI. This can significantly increase work efficiency, reduce costs, and maximize profit.
Sarah believes that the use of generative AI is especially important for small companies and startups that are just starting out. Only with such technologies can they compete with industry giants who have virtually unlimited resources today.
Adam Selipsky, CEO at Amazon Web Services (AWS), during his speech at the Centre Stage of Collision 2023, pointed out that the main issue that prevents the widespread implementation of generative AI today lies in data security. This is what Amazon and other companies are most concerned about.
Sarah Guo also highlighted that the spread of generative AI technologies is currently significantly slowed down by the need for high-performance equipment. This particularly applies to systems related to the generation of images, audio, and video. However, text chats are efficient in all respects already today.
Sarah Guo sees great potential in implementing generative AI, which is why she is actively involved in all possible projects related to such technologies and invests in them. Popular YouTube blogger Marques Brownlee (MKBHD) holds the same view, artificial intelligence will soon be everywhere.
Mike Murchison, CEO at Ada, and Arvind Jain, CEO at Glean, are confident that generative AI will not replace traditional SaaS solutions. On the contrary, artificial intelligence will help make them more user-friendly and efficient for companies.
As previously noted, we at Focus21 are confident that the widespread use of generative AI in the near future will be the next step in digitizing any business. We 100% agree that in a couple of years, all successful companies will be using such technologies.