Pump The Brakes On The AI Hype?

AI is a hot topic.

The potential of generative AI applications is a subject of great interest to everyone

OpenAI's ChatGPT, and its many competitors and alternatives. ChatGPT, which was released in late 2013 to more than 100 millions users within two months of its release, has been a huge success. Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, has since redoubled its efforts to create Bard. The importance of Nvidia Corp.'s products in the AI sector has seen its shares rise by almost 200 percent.

Experts have made some hyperbolic statements about this.

Many people consider that the AI movement is the start of the fourth industrial revolution. It's as significant or even more important than the internet. AI bots could take over millions of jobs, while companies that invest in this area could become rich. AI applications could replace a wide range of professions, from Hollywood scriptwriters and corporate lawyers to Hollywood directors.

AI is the sole driver of Nasdaq Composite’s 32 percent gain through June 30. This was during a time of high inflation rates and interest rates, which are typically anathema for growth-oriented tech stocks.

The U.S. economic contraction is the worst since 2008.

This brings me to the question I have.

Is the hype getting out of hand?

ChatGPT is a very impressive product. The technology behind ChatGPT has immense potential. It helped me draft a letter of recommendation for a colleague who is applying to business school. The final product is an acceptable missive but nothing particularly inspiring.

At the moment it still feels like a novelty. It's not going to be able replace millions of jobs, or change the world.

Experts would like you to believe that it is a certainty, but this is not the case.

Metaverse was the latest technology hype that I remember before ChatGPT. The blockchain was a little earlier.

Blockchain was expected to revolutionize the world of business. The distributed ledger would revolutionize everything from accounting to banking. Decentralized exchanges will eventually replace centralized networks and stock exchanges.

Five years ago, this was the big thing. Long Blockchain Inc., a little-known Long Island ice tea beverage manufacturer, changed its name and announced it would be investing and implementing Blockchain and cryptocurrency in its business. The stock price of the company immediately soared.

Deloitte’s 2021 Global Blockchain Survey found that 80 percent believe blockchain will enable new revenue streams. If you are a business leader, and you don't implement blockchain, you will miss out on the future and be left behind.

Blockchain hasn't revolutionized anything much in the last few years.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are still in existence. Blockchain technology has not changed the fortunes of any company, except for a few proofs-of-concept.

What is the fate of Long Blockchain? The company was delisted by Nasdaq and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed charges of insider trading against some major shareholders in 2021.

Metaverse is another popular hype.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, believed so strongly in the potential virtual worlds had that the company changed their corporate name to Meta Platforms.

The supporters of the metaverse believed that we would all wear VR headsets, hold meetings in virtual worlds and buy virtual products like NFTs or virtual homes. We'd also own a stable avatars within game worlds which had their own economies. The metaverse offers a huge economic potential if you believe that this is the future. There are an infinite number of virtual worlds that can be populated and lived in. The only limit is the computing power.

In 2023 the metaverse looks very different.

Meta's stock has dropped 13 percent since its name change announcement in October 2021. This decline is through June 30, 2018. This is after a 138 percent rise in the year-to date 2023.

In a survey conducted before the Game Developers Conference in early this year, 45 percent of respondents who were game developers - those people and companies responsible for metaverse's creation - felt that "the metaverse concept would never deliver on its promises." Ouch.

Another example of a broken promise. The 3-D printer industry.

Experts thought that by now, every household would have a 3-D Printer--as common as a micro-wave oven--deliver household items such as food (chicken noodle) and replacement bits (drill bit).

Despite the fact that 3-D printing has been around for nearly a decade, it is still a relatively new technology in the manufacturing sector.

These examples don't mean that AI will not be as revolutionary, as some experts claim. This technology is a hot topic in both the private and public sectors. More investments, more development, a technological consensus and, above all, a regulatory oversight and moral clarity about necessary guardrails is needed.

AI's potential and risks are both massive at the moment. It will take ten years to determine whether AI is similar to the Google Glass or the internet.