Season 5, Post 2: Explain AI to my mum

Have some free time on your hands? Then sign up to https://chat.openai.com/chat. Your author, along with over 3m other people globally, has already done so.

Season 5, Post 2: Explain AI to my mum

Have some free time on your hands? Then sign up to https://chat.openai.com/chat. Your author, along with over 3m other people globally, has already done so. The programme provides a wonderful insight into the power, fun and problems of AI (artificial intelligence). Chatbots are not new, but this one is different, with more compute power and parameters – numbering over 175bn – than previous iterations.

The premise is simple. The tool (known as Chat-GPT) provides a conversational interface that allows users to ask it questions in natural language. Response time is typically no more than five seconds. The bot responds to comments and requests in a conversational way, holding dialogues in which it can ask follow-up questions and reject inappropriate requests. Beyond answering simple questions (such as the one provided in the Blog’s title – the response appears below), you can ask it to solve problems, write poems and songs, draft letters and so on.

Chat-GPT appears almost magical, particularly to the layperson. It has been programmed using a technique called Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback. The ‘GPT’ in its name refers to Generative Pre-trained Transformer. Existing knowledge in the bot is used to answer questions. The organisation behind Chat-GPT, OpenAI, is a Silicon Valley start-up – albeit with a meaningful investment from Microsoft and currently valued at ~$30bn. Its aim is to promote openness and standards in artificial intelligence.

Despite the magic, tools such as Chat-GPT also have their limitations. Pose to it a question such as “is this a good time to invest in the stock market?” or “how do you define a future trend?” and the answer that comes back can appear highly generic or generalised. It provides a response which could be considered sufficient, but far from necessary to allow a user to make an informed decision. Answers often (even in the example above) can also appear overly verbose. The good news is that the system should only improve over time, learning from user-generated inputs and honing its answers. Like with any toy, the more it is played with, the quicker its designers should be able to make it into something better.

What next? AI will only get more sophisticated – and perhaps very quickly. This may imply a paradigm shift in terms of how we do things. Professors and journalists could find themselves in need of redefining (parts of) their roles. More broadly, chatbot companions could emerge as the centre of everything we do in the digital and real worlds. Google et al are search engines; chatbots will emerge as ‘answer engines.’ Not everyone will feel happy about this direction of travel. There is already no shortage of misinformation and biases online without more potentially being generated – even if inadvertently – by skilled bots. What odds then, of this Blog being written by a bot in the next twelve months? We wouldn’t bet on it, but if so, it ought theoretically to free up your author’s time to perform some even more valuable tasks. That’s the optimistic view…

11 January 2023

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The above does not constitute investment advice and is the sole opinion of the author at the time of publication. Past performance is no guide to future performance and the value of investments and income from them can fall as well as rise.


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Click here to view all Blog posts


​​​​​​​Alex Gunz, Fund Manager ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Disclaimers

The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital LLP believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital LLP, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital LLP is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital LLP disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document. 

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