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ChatGPT’s Code Interpreter Makes Information Superfluid
Read on to discover a future in which data turned superfluid
I’m Pascal Finette, co-founder of be radical – and this is our weekly Briefing. We share our latest insights, analysis, and articles we read; all focussed on the future of technology and business. Just like a good banana, it’s easy to digest. nutritious and yummy.
Decode. Disrupt. Transform.
ChatGPT, until the release of Meta’s Twitter competitor Threads, the fastest-growing consumer app ever (100m users in just two months), saw its first dip in traffic last month. Looking beyond the headlines, one realizes that AI usage overall keeps rising (which shouldn’t surprise anyone) – it’s just that specific usage for AI-posterchild ChatGPT has dropped as its novelty has (somewhat) worn off.
Meanwhile, the team behind ChatGPT released a new module for its AI assistant – ChatGPT Code Interpreter (available only to paying ChatGPT Plus subscribers). Upload pretty much any form of data (e.g., a CSV file) up to 100MB, and you can start asking ChatGPT to create visualizations (including animated GIFs) and analysis. It’s mind-blowingly good – visualizations that took you hours to create and fine-tune are done in minutes – and even more impressively – having ChatGPTs text interface able to interact with your data allows you to ask complex questions in natural language. Your $20/month ChatGPT Plus subscription just got you a personal data analyst.
Looking beyond the obvious – from the pressure this will put on specialized data analytics tools to entry-level data analyst jobs – it presents a clearer picture of our AI-enabled future. The interesting feature enabling the powerful features of the ChatGPT Code Interpreter is ChatGPT’s use of its language model to make sense of the data (allowing it to work with rather unstructured data inputs) which are then piped into a Python interpreter for which ChatGPT develops the code to run the analysis. This solves a good chunk of the “hallucination” problem plaguing LLMs and provides clear(er) error messages when something doesn’t work as intended.
All of this brings down the time it takes to “try something out” rapidly – turning work which took weeks to complete into queries done in a few minutes. I believe this will result in massively changing workflows inside corporations where we move into a mode of hyper-fast iteration, a massively increased volume of ideas being tried out, and – ultimately/hopefully – better results for the enterprise.
My friends at the global consulting firm EY developed a concept around the “Superfluid Enterprise” – mostly focussed on an enterprise’s ability to become super-modular (something we talk about in our work on Hourglass Economics). ChatGPT’s Code Interpreter might be another glimpse into the future – a world in which information turned superfluid. (via Pascal)
The Thin Wisps of Tomorrow
AI Coders Are Coming For You. Global code-hosting powerhouse GitHub released a report on the economic impact of AI-powered coding assistants – notably their own product Copilot. Aside from the back-of-a-napkin calculation and claim that systems like Copilot will add a staggering $1.5 trillion to the global economy by 2030, the report does have some fascinating data on user satisfaction and individual programmer’s productivity: Users accepted a solid 30% of code suggestions (a number which surely only will go up as the systems become more robust over time). GitHub’s researchers found, not surprisingly, that Copilot helps less experienced developers more – pointing toward a future in which more people will be able to solve their code-related challenges. Here’s the paper and a recording of a talk discussing the results.
AI Will Destroy the World – But Can’t Draw a Single Banana. radical Learning Partner Jason Whyte brought my attention to a Guardian article boldly proclaiming the five ways AI will destroy humanity and liking AI to a new, more intelligent species. On the other hand, as Daniel Hook, CEO of AI company Digital Science, points out in a recent blog post, AI can’t even draw a singular banana (it can draw two at a time but has some real issues imagining a banana on its own). Maybe AI doesn’t care about bananas and our desire to have a single one instead of a pair – and maybe the end of the world doesn’t need bananas at all… but somehow, this doesn’t quite look like a hyper-intelligent new species.
⚾ VR Is Well and Alive in the World of Baseball. Major League Baseball (MLB) announced the launch of a virtual ballpark. For some strange reason, it runs in the browser but not on actual VR headsets. It all feels a bit like MLB wants a piece of the Fortnite pie without really understanding why Fortnite is such a hit. But hey, baseball in VR…
What We Are Reading
📵 What Did People Do Before Smartphones? It's hard to pinpoint. The author says that before smartphones, people didn’t invest their in-between time into forging social bonds or doing self-improvement. They mostly suffered through constant, endless boredom. Do you agree? Mafe ⇢ Read
🔭 The World Needs A Global AI Observatory Creating a humane, global future of AI will require openness, information sharing, and cooperation on a scale rarely witnessed in human affairs. These authors suggest a blueprint for what that might look like. Jeffrey ⇢ Read
🌍 To Save the Planet, Should We Really Be Moving Slower? The staggering contrast between the slow cultural shift intended to tackle the incredibly rapid progression of climate change is alarming. This gives a great overview of practical considerations, scenarios, and approaches for finding solutions. Best-case scenarios are called such for a reason — we shouldn’t forget that progressing toward them is already great! Julian ⇢ Read
☠️ Causes of death There is a significant disconnect between what we actually die from and the causes of death that receive media coverage. Pedro ⇢ Read
🧠 Stop brainstorming Do yourself a favor and stop "brainstorming" – it doesn't work, and if your team lacks ideas, you should work on creating psychological safety. Pascal⇢ Read
Around The Horn
The 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer makes for a somewhat grim read.
Folks on HackerNews are debating if they are living in an AI echo chamber. tl;dr: Yes.
The fully decoded connectome of the fruitfly is here for you to explore.
For some good news on the climate front: 57.7% of energy produced in Germany is now renewable.
Access to green spaces increases your life expectancy by a whopping 2.5 years.
The AI lawsuits are piling up – author and comedian Sarah Silverman (and others) just sued OpenAI and Meta for copyright infringement.
Some Fun Stuff
A beautiful, interactive exploration of what lies beneath the ocean’s surface. Keep scrolling… 🤿
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