Preparing for my course this year at the University of Lausanne, my son, an IT entrepreneur, told me dryly when he saw what I was doing: "Forget Google and try ChatGPT". I had no idea about this... app. Thus began my new borderline plagiarism collaboration with this devilish app. And while it's at it, why not put it to work and look to the future together? So instead of writing a question on Google, I wrote it on ChatGPT. I didn't try to be short, concise, as we were taught: I didn't search on my own, I asked.
Who? The car! And that's how I found out about this... miracle. The one that's on the lips of all geeks, all developers, and all journalists: ChatGPT. With it, natural language as a new approach to the internet has the potential to change everything. Firstly, because, thanks to the tool created by OpenAI, I am again excited to simply test a machine and be surprised by its capabilities. Secondly, because whereas in the 2000s the internet required a minimum of effort to type searches correctly and select the right sources, using ChatGPT requires no effort at all. More than a web interface, it is an assistant that sorts, summarises, clarifies, compares, advises and plans.
The time savings are huge. ChatGPT is one of those rare moments in innovation where you see a glimpse of how everything will be different in the future. Global predictions for 2023 vary depending on the field and political, social and economic developments around the world. Sudden shifts in business production capacity have collided with sudden changes in the mix of goods and services consumers want to buy, leading to both excesses and shortages across the economy. An unexpected consequence of the pandemic was the 'disappearance' of millions of people from the labour market, a disappearance that is still hard to explain, and the 'traceability' of the workforce became even more opaque. Wage growth is unusually rapid, due to the mismatch between the large number of vacancies and the number of available workers, which could be an opportunity for companies to reduce hiring without hurting the economy. However, it is important to keep in mind that in the US alone 250,000 Americans file for unemployment benefits each week, compared to 6.5 million employees per month, which dwarfs the number of announced layoffs. Also worrying are the mental health, emotional state and extreme stress we are experiencing. In addition, we see that the fragility of our societies has reached alarming levels. This year is a year of profound change in countless areas. Against this background, the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023 marked the start of a major IT revolution. We are contemporaries of the birth of one of the most spectacular changes of the digital age, and it seems we are not yet fully aware of it. Perhaps the craziest thing is that neither COVID, nor inflation, nor the war in Ukraine, nor any other geopolitical factor has been able to stop the growth of investment in artificial intelligence.
Between 2020 and 2021, investment more than doubled, from $35 billion to $95 billion invested in less than 12 months. but 2022 has accelerated this process even more and - it seems - 2023 will exceed any imagination. Even though the US dominates the sector, this investment spike can be found in all geographical areas of the world. Few people realise it, but in a few years artificial intelligence will be as widespread as the internet. Because artificial intelligence will not just improve on current technology, it will reinvent it. This market is already generating a mountain of money and this is just the beginning! To say that this is a high growth market is an understatement. In 2017, the artificial intelligence software market was worth just $2.75 billion. However, projections for 2025 are staggering: $78 billion. That's a 28-fold increase in just 8 years! In fact, no industry is growing that fast. The market for artificial intelligence chips (semiconductors) is equally impressive. With just $1.6 billion in 2017, the forecast is $66 billion by 2025. That's 40 times what we had in 2017.
This implies even faster growth than that of artificial intelligence software. The market is accelerating so fast that there is a shortage of AI engineers. Since the advent of computer science, many scientists and engineers have dreamed of artificial intelligence. However, this assumption has been overturned by the arrival of a newcomer: ChatGPT. At the same time, other AIs have emerged, such as StableDiffusion or MidJourney. In their case, they allow the creation of images generated by an artificial intelligence. Clearly, AI is an area of interest for major groups. For example, Microsoft is considering a $10 billion investment in OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT. Tomorrow, when artificial intelligence is connected to the internet, it will be a bombshell. A bombshell that will probably mean that the artificial intelligence developed behind ChatGPT would not just be a consecration of what everyone has been trying to develop for twenty years, but a real game changer, a totally different logic, a disruption. At the opposite extreme, we can imagine that the OpenAI tool is just an illusion. A magic trick, so great that it passes without managing to penetrate deeply into our lives. However, if Google has declared a code red in its evolution, I suspect it has not been fooled by an illusion. If Microsoft bought parts of the OpenAI asset for astronomical sums, I don't think they can be accused of naivety. ChatGPT summarizes a lot of things people have already written, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. It's not for nothing that Elon Musk has been among the founders since 2015, even though he left the company disappointed with the new pecuniary and not altruistic direction the organization was focused on. A controversial personality, there's no arguing that Musk isn't an extraordinary visionary. What's even more mind-boggling is the ability of this "evil machine" to generate code, i.e. to help with programming and eventually program itself, like in the most visionary sci-fi scenarios. "Whatever one person can imagine, others will be able to put into practice," wrote Jules Verne. And if you still don't believe me, then I'll make a confession: I wrote this article with the help of ChatGPT!
Prof. Univ. Dr. Ing. Ec. Ray F. Iunius is CEO of winsedswiss education group, a Swiss education and consulting group with branches in Switzerland, Romania, Serbia, Cyprus and Singapore. He is a member of supervisory and management boards including the Swiss-Romanian Chamber of Commerce, the Royal Institute of Hospitality Management and the IFWE Foundation for Sustainability Studies. He holds an MBA and a PhD from the University of Lausanne and a BSc, MSc and PhD in technical sciences from Transilvania University of Brasov. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Higher Commercial Studies (HEC) of the University of Lausanne - Switzerland, where he teaches Strategic Service Operation in the Bachelor and Master programs.
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