The ChatGPT gold rush: What evolving AI tech means for the future

Brands are scrambling to incorporate generative AI into their strategy to stay ahead of the curve. But according to our analysts, AI’s current uses are just the tip of the iceberg.

Here are some recent AI innovations and predictions for the tech’s evolution.

1. Snapchat released its own AI chatbot

Last month, Snapchat launched My AI, a chatbot powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology. The chatbot can recommend birthday gift ideas, plan a hiking trip, or suggest a dinner recipe.

But despite offering some similar capabilities, the chatbot is not meant to be a search engine, a real missed opportunity for the social platform, according to Insider Intelligence principal analyst Jasmine Enberg.

“Given all the news that Gen Z is now using TikTok and Instagram for search, and even the fact that TikTok is potentially moving into search ads, I don’t think Snap can afford to miss out on that Gen Z trend,” she said on a recent “Behind the Numbers: The Daily” podcast episode.

Snapchat said the chatbot will adhere to the company’s trust and safety guidelines, but a recent test of the technology by a Washington Post writer roleplaying as teenager found that the bot gave age-inappropriate answers, such as how to hide alcohol on your breath and how a minor can have a relationship with an adult.

“When it comes to minors using these platforms, even a little slip-up can pose a huge risk for these companies,” said analyst Jacob Bourne. “I think things could go wrong pretty quickly.”

2. Meta dedicated a team to building AI tools and personas

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Meta is creating a product group focused on building “delightful experiences” around generative AI. In the short term, the team will focus on building “creative and expressive” tools, while long-term goals include developing AI personas.

Zuckerberg also shared that Meta is exploring experiences with text (chat capabilities on WhatsApp and Messenger), images (Instagram filters and ad formats), and video and multimodal experiences.

Platform integration details are still pretty vague, said Bourne. But it’s clear Meta wants to keep up with industry trends.

“Chatbots provide an immense amount of entertainment value,” he said, “and that’s something social media companies really want to harness for their platforms. But [as far as] how it’s going to work in reality, I think it’s going to take some fine-tuning.”

The use case for incorporating chatbots into messaging apps like WhatsApp and Messenger is pretty compelling, said Enberg, especially since many companies already use chatbots on WhatsApp for customer service purposes.

“But the chatbots that exist right now are pretty basic,” she said. “So if Meta—or any app—could build a more human-like experience that could also automate community management and customer service workflows, it would be a pretty useful chatbot.”

3. OpenAI debuted GPT-4

Currently available to only ChatGPT Plus users, GPT-4 can accept images and generate captions, classifications, and analysis, as well as handle over 25,000 words of text. It can also create code for a website based on a hand-drawn sketch and ace standardized tests.

But we’ve only seen the beginning, according to Bourne.

“We’re going to be seeing more of this multimodal functionality where you can use audio, images, video, and text pretty interchangeably and get output based on it,” he said. “And the fact that we’re seeing GPT release just a matter of months after ChatGPT’s initial public debut means we can expect a rapid-fire success[ion] of more advanced AI models to be coming out over the next year and beyond.”

Enberg agreed, noting that there’s going to be a lot of trial and error before we get to a place where there’s real utility for a wide variety of people and industries.

“I think we’re in a gold rush of generative AI and it’s still very early days. And there [are] a lot of limitations to the tools that are out there.”

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