We are

  • Expert

AI for Dummies

Well with the explosion in artificial intelligence about to hit us ‘every-day’ folk with a vengeance, now that Microsoft, Google and OpenAI have dumbed-it down enough (or should that read smarted-it up?) for us mere mortals to use it for everything from buttering our toast to putting the cat out, I thought it would be timely to see how the world’s biggest players will be competing to take over our lives even further.

My first reaction was why bother to write something myself when ChatGPT could do it for me in a fraction of the time and probably a zillion times better, but then I thought, in order to use ChatGPT I’d need to subscribe to it, which in turn could mean being hassled for the next god-knows-how-long to sign up to even bigger and better versions of it and probably impart with my inner-most thoughts and thinking, which I’m not quite ready to do yet.

Same, same different

So instead, I did what most of us have been doing since the invention of search engines; I just Googled it. The latest comparison of AI chatbots that I could find, can be found here AI Chatbots compared: Bard vs. Bing vs. ChatGPT.  It’s an excellent article and is well written. By humans.

In a nutshell, the article found that ChatGPT is the most verbally dextrous of the three AI bots and will soon be allowing their chatbox to access real-time data from the internet; Bing is best for getting information from the web and can generate images, as well as offering sources for its responses; and Bard is still a work in progress.  The article goes on to provide some great examples of questions asked and the results were overall quite surprising.  It would seem that we’re still a considerable way off having artificial intelligence taking over our lives and replacing us at work, however, given the speed that everything moves at in the world of tech, it probably isn’t more than a few nano-seconds away from happening.  Especially given the amount of resources being thrown at it worldwide.

It's not what you say, but how you say it

In the meantime, smaller ‘David’ players have been beavering away for years in the shadow of the ‘Goliaths’, and while they may never achieve world domination of the household AI space, the solutions they are providing actually work and add value to specialised organisations, information providers, products and services.  I suspect a lot of their success is due to them listening to their clients, asking the right questions and matching the solution to the problem, not trying to use a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach which the more generic applications do.

Speaking of generic, when I think back to the different countries I’ve visited in my lifetime, the people from a wide-range of very different cultures and backgrounds that I’ve met, and the difficulty society has in understanding and accepting diversity, I scratch my head in wonderment of how the subtle differences in language and customs which we humans struggle with will be managed using algorithms, not to mention the tone, punctuation and body language that can, and does, influence the spoken word, and all I can see is a new AI world full of miss takes, miss understandings, and confusion. 

To put it to the test, try telling a joke in English to a non-mother-tongue English speaker.  Chances are they just won’t get it, no matter how much you try to explain.  Take the French and English example.  Apart from the previous centuries of being at war, a big reason the French and the English don’t seem to like each other is down to them having different senses of humour and not getting each other’s jokes.  I kid you not (no pun intended); research has been done on this very subject.  In fact Google offers 183 million search results on humour between cultures…

To illustrate my point, here's a worthwhile article on humour across cultures that provides insight into what makes humour different between cultures.  How will a chat bot deal with this, if mere humans struggle so much to be understood by each other?  Could it spell the end of humour as we know it?  Can AI finish off what political correctness started back in the 1970s?

Help is at hand

Given that AI is here to stay, regardless of how long it takes to get it to a fully acceptable, reliable and useable level, I’m guessing it will integrate quickly into our daily lives and soon we won’t be able to remember what life was like without it.  Can you recall life before Google? 

I’m in the process of planning an overseas trip and it got me reminiscing about my first solo overseas trip to Europe in the early 1990s.  I can’t recall how I managed to organise most of it on my own.  The reality is I couldn’t have done it without the help of a travel agent who provided handfuls of brochures, booked my flights, accommodation and connections, advised me on time zones, currencies, customs and climate conditions, amongst other important things. 

For my latest trip, the whole thing will be done online and I’ll rely on reviews and Google for most of it, but in another year or two I’ll probably be able to just provide a vague idea of when and where I want to go and what I’ll want to see and an AI bot will do the rest.  Bring it on!

In conclusion

The AI chatbots comparison article ends with good advice – pick the right tool for the job.  All three of these AI bots have specific purposes, features and benefits, and I’m guessing there must be room for all three in the mass market, given the amount of money invested in each of them over the last years.  I’m less sure, however that AI will cut a squillion jobs from the world’s labour market as a result of the development of mass produced AI bots in my lifetime, but it seems to be well on the way.  The end of the civilisation as we know it could well be in sight.

Additional information on ChatGPT


Stop Press: AI leaders urge labs to halt training models more powerful than GPT-4

Artificial intelligence experts and industry leaders, including Elon Musk, University of California Berkeley computer science professor Stuart Russell and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, are calling on developers to hit the pause button on training powerful AI modelsRead the full article.



Talk to us.

Let's start a conversation about your web presence today
Phone: +64 4 384 9833 | Email: us@expert.services
Address: 19 Tennyson Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Postal address: PO Box 6474, Wellington 6141, New Zealand

To send us an email, please complete the form below...