There’s an old adage, widely attributed to Mark Twain, that if you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait 15 minutes. Whether Twain ever said that is debatable, but over the last century or so, just about every locale across the country has adopted the saying as its own.
I was reminded of this story by the ever-changing landscape of AI. In a very real sense, if you don’t like what the AI ecosystem is presenting you with today, come back next week and you’ll likely have some new options: upgraded apps, new tools, and more sophisticated offerings.
To that point, in early August, I completed a two-part presentation on AI and ChatGPT to a group of attorneys. The presentation, “Everything, Everywhere, All at Once: ChatGPT and AI Marketing for Attorneys” covered a lot of ground. Totaling 100 slides presented over 2.5 hours across two sessions, it touched on everything from an introduction to AI, Machine Learning (ML), and Large Language Models (LLMs), to exploring best practices for prompt engineering in ChatGPT, to examining the pros and cons of several of the other popular AI tools on the market, including Bard, Bing, Jasper, Dall-E 2 and more.
The attendees, members of “Lawyer’s Brief,” a private coaching group run by Viveca Hess, are successful attorneys whose specialties include intellectual property, risk management, estate planning, and entrepreneurship.
At the end of each of the two sessions, I was gratified to hear how the presentation helped them better understand not only the tactical side of things (e.g., which AI tool is better than others for certain types of tasks), but also the bigger picture of AI, how everything fits together, and where things appear to be headed.
Now, just one month later, it’s already high time to refresh that presentation. No surprise there, as I’ve been telling anyone who will listen that AI doesn’t take summers off. Given AI’s rapid pace of change, we’re not talking about continuous improvement: This is Kaizen on steroids.
To illustrate that point, in late July, Christopher Penn came out with an excellent – and wonderfully titled – e-book, The Woefully Incomplete Book of Generative AI, which he published as a PDF. In the introduction, he explains the meaning behind the title, why he published it as a PDF, and the admittedly haphazard editing, all of which could be explained by his mission to get something out sooner rather than waiting until it’s better:
Why admit that this book is in the condition it’s in? Because a couple months ago, I began writing the fourth edition of AI for Marketers, and as I was working on Chapter 3’s revisions over the span of six days, THE ENTIRE CHAPTER WAS OUT OF DATE BY THE TIME I WAS DONE. That shows you how absurdly fast-paced the field is, and how impotent any effort would be to publish anything authoritative.
That pretty much says it all about the fast-moving state of AI. In a nutshell, the ChatGPT and other AI tools that you knew and loved in late July are no longer the same in early September.
Here’s one example: Just last week, ChatGPT released its newest version, Enterprise, which looks like it might be a game-changer for large businesses. And yes, “game-changer” is a much-overused term, but in this case, it could actually be true. Here’s why: Not only will Enterprise offer unlimited high-speed access to GPT-4 and to Advanced Data Analysis (formerly known as Code Interpreter), but OpenAI promises it will offer the highest levels of security and privacy. It’s these last two features that are going to look most attractive to businesses.
As The Verge makes clear,
Privacy and security have been a concern for businesses who fear their data could be used to train ChatGPT and are worried that using the tool might accidentally expose sensitive customer information to AI models. OpenAI said users of ChatGPT Enterprise will have control and ownership over their data, which will not be used to train GPT at all.
So, just in case you missed it, “users of ChatGPT Enterprise will have control and ownership over their data, which will not be used to train GPT at all.” When it comes to ChatGPT, have sweeter words ever been spoken? I’m thinking that THIS is what will bring the big business boys to the OpenAI yard. In fact, as Computerworld suggests, this is “arguably the most significant upgrade to the generative AI (genAI) platform since it launched last November.”
Further good news for many of us: Despite the “Enterprise” label, OpenAI says a modified version, with lower pricing, will be available for small businesses. The company hasn’t yet released a target date for this version, but my guess is that, like most things AI-related, it will be here sooner rather than later.
Interestingly, the advent of Enterprise appears to directly target Bing Chat Enterprise, which launched just over a month ago to “eligible commercial customers.” What makes this especially interesting, of course, is that BCE is a product of Microsoft, the very same company that’s invested $10 billion in OpenAI. So much for “Good fences make good neighbors.”
So, where is everything headed? We may be uncertain about the details, but with the USS Enterprise in mind, I think we can all agree on this: We’re boldly going where absolutely no one has gone before.