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Bigger than the Internet: Entire countries re-orient towards GenAI
Five months after the release of ChatGPT, the world is a different place
🎉 Happy Friday, everyone! 🎉
I’ve just landed in London after a whistle-stop trip to Texas, where I spoke at MetTel’s Innovation Summit. During a deeply philosophical Q&A, I was struck by how everyone sensed this tipping point and how quickly AI will change our lives beyond comprehension.
This week, the headline for me is not so much about the furious reorientation of big tech but how society, regulators, and entire countries are wrangling with the new reality.
👀 Uncle Sam is Watching
Stateside, we saw the first significant move from US government agencies. Four big dogs came out swinging. In a joint statement, The Federal Trade Commission, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, marked their territory.
First, they state that AI and ‘automated systems’ are subject to Federal law. Then they warn that AI must be developed in a way that does not engender discrimination or bias.
We take seriously our responsibility to ensure that these rapidly evolving systems are developed and used in a manner consistent with federal laws, and each of our agencies has previously expressed concern about the potential harmful uses of automated systems.
The US move falls short of the investigations and bans on ChatGPT in Canada and Italy. But the top line is that Uncle Sam is on alert: AI is on its turf, and it does get to adjudicate how these systems are deployed.
🇬🇧 UK and Japan Make GenAI Play
While the global regulatory response thus far has almost universally been defensive, two countries - Japan and the United Kingdom - are sensing an opportunity to get ahead with GenAI to bolster their economic performance and as a measure of geopolitical power.
On Monday, the British government announced an Expert AI Taskforce, with initial funding of £100m to develop Foundational Models and ‘safe’ AI. Now, GPUs are hellishly expensive, so 100m might not go far...nonetheless, this is the first commitment of this kind.
With AI set to contribute billions of pounds to UK GDP, the work of the Taskforce will help deliver on the Prime Minister’s priorities to grow our economy, whilst generating better outcomes for people across the country through better public services. Research suggests that the broad adoption of such systems could triple national productivity growth rates.
The UK tends to punch above its weight on its AI credentials, so it’s interesting to see the government identifying it as a key strategic priority. The proof will be in the pudding—let's see if the task force does anything meaningful or if it is just meant as a kind of ‘AI plaster’ to help ‘fix’ the UK’s sluggish economic performance.
Another country emerging as ‘pro-AI’ is Japan. On Tuesday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that his country supports the development of industrial uses of Generative AI. His remarks came after his meeting Sam Altman the CEO of Open AI. As reported previously in EGAI, Open AI is considering opening an office in Japan…and it’s not the only one—I hear the UK’s own Stability AI is flirting with Japan too.
Kishida also added that the "international rules" on generative AI will be on the agenda at the G7 summit meeting next month in Hiroshima.
Five months after the release of ChatGPT and the world is already a different place. It’s like 1993, and you're being told to prepare for the ‘Internet.’ The AI revolution has arrived, and we all need to engage with it. Decisions taken in the next few months and years will likely define the trajectory of our lives.
And on that philosophical note…let’s get to the best of the rest.
The EU is proposing new copyright rules for generative AI, including ChatGPT, which could pave the way for the world's first comprehensive laws governing the technology.
Companies deploying generative AI tools must disclose any copyrighted material used to develop their systems, while AI tools will be classified according to their perceived risk level.
High-risk tools will not be banned, but transparency in operations will be required. The EU has been on the frontier of regulating AI technology, causing awe and anxiety among tech companies racing to bring generative AI products to market.
Google's AI tool, Bard, has received a coding upgrade and can now help developers with code generation, debugging, and explanation in over 20 languages.
While Bard's reliability remains unproven, rumours and experiments suggest that it may be better at coding than ChatGPT.
PWC plans to invest $1 billion in generative AI technology over the next three years, partnering with Microsoft and OpenAI to automate aspects of its tax, audit and consulting services.
The investment includes funding to recruit more AI workers and train existing staff in AI capabilities while targeting AI software makers for potential acquisitions.
The goal is to develop and embed generative AI into PwC's technology stack and client-services platforms, while also advising other companies on how best to use generative AI, and helping them build those tools.
Apple is developing an AI-powered health coaching service called Quartz to help users improve their exercise routines, eating habits, and sleep quality – likely using data collected from Apple Watches to provide personalised recommendations based on users' behaviour.
While Google and Microsoft hog the limelight with their AI milestones, Apple is making its own moves in the field
The eeriest feature is its capacity to analyse users’ moods…considering Apple’s broad user base, this move could accelerate us towards the Singularity.
The Republican National Committee has created the first election advertisement that is completely AI-generated.
The RNC responds to President Biden's re-election bid with AI-generated pictures of a dystopian Biden future.
Grimes (the former partner of Elon Musk) has offered her voice to be synthesized by fans to creating AI-generated songs in exchange for a 50% share in royalties.
While some artists ban generative AI with their music, Grimes has become the first mainstream artist to embrace AI and let her fans work for her.
That’s all for now — enjoy your weekend!