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Thought Leadership

AI-list: Need somebody with the human touch

Jen Jordan | June 02, 2023| 2 min. read
mind colorful digital art

AI is a rapidly developing sector that Insight has invested more than $4B since 2014. We’re currently tracking 23,315 AI/ML startups and ScaleUps. Naturally, our team has seen a lot, and the discussions around this topic generate a lot of opinions.

Here’s a look behind the curtain into some of what we’re reading, sharing, and discussing across the team at Insight lately. Think I missed something? Email me and tell me all about it. See the archive of all our AI roundups here.

Less is more?

Last week, I declared less is not more. This week, the New York Times is on it with “BabyLMs.” The challenge? Train a language model on only ~100M words, or approximately the number of words a 13-year-old encounters. This might make the AI sound more human, the theory goes.

Making bigger and more capable AI chatbots requires processing power that few companies possess, and there is growing concern that a small group, including Google, Meta, OpenAI, and Microsoft, will exercise near-total control over the technology. Smaller LMs can be more accessible, proliferate innovation, and specialized for niche uses. They can also present challenges for regulation.

To be continued.

As GenAI enables a lot more workers to code, CIOs worry about managing code complexity and tech debt. Via WSJ (and Insight’s own network), we’re hearing a lot of this sentiment, along with real questions on costs and governance. Seems like a problem that could be solved…with AI?

A quote from our Insight AI chat proffers this: “You could imagine people creating tests and then doing AI code generation based on human-created tests, and then using the tests to check the quality of the code gen. Like an AI supercharged version of Test Driven Development (TDD).”

An apple a day keeps the AI away

Academia (along with various disciplines of “knowledge work,” specifically marketing and software development) has arguably been one of the most disrupted areas as ChatGPT gained widespread adoption. Educators have been frazzled trying to address student use of AI tools and what it means for the future of assessment.

From the WSJ (paywall, sorry, but his speaking tour is free, and his 2018 TEDxCMU talk about math is worthwhile), educator and Carnegie Mellon mathematician Po-Shen Loh is evangelizing “knowing how to solve problems, and which problems to solve,” and leaning into the humanity of it all. “The value of ingenuity will only get stronger.”

Meanwhile, the Twitter academic hivemind has been experimenting with how to beat ChatGPT at its own game.

Highlights from our portfolio

AI giant, Landing AI founder, and ScaleUp:AI 2022 speaker Andrew Ng announced several new free-for-now AI courses. 

  • Skyflow is presenting a webinar, “Will Privacy Kill Generative AI?”  on June 13. You can register here.

Bits and bots

Don’t fire your therapist yet.viral story is making the rounds about a chatbot encouraging patients with eating disorders to adopt harmful advice. Important to note this bot is not ChatGPT, but is specifically designed for addressing mental health. Interesting aside: the history of so many previous chatbots, though they managed to leave out the most notorious chatbot of all for this millennial. #JusticeforSmarterChild

When I say AI, you say bye bye. It’s been exactly a month since the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) strike started, and if you haven’t been living under a (30?)rock, you’ve seen the picket lines. Among the WGA’s chief concerns are shrinking streaming service residuals and limiting the use of AI for script writing and/or revisions. Why am I mentioning this story here? It’s not just about the tech anymore. Regulation of AI, and what happens with this contract dispute, could tee up major questions about labor rights.

Maybe, as the title of this article might suggest: We gotta slow it down baby, gotta have some fun.

Editor’s note: Articles are sourced from an ongoing, internal Insight AI/Data Teams chat discussion and curated, written, and editorialized by Insight’s VP of Content and Thought Leadership, Jen Jordan, a real human. (for now!)

Disclosure: Landing AI and Skyflow are Insight portfolio companies.

Image credit: Google Deepmind via Unsplash “Digital Biology” Artist: Khyati Trehan