Chat versus Bard 🤖

When your grandma asks you what ChatGPT is, you know that it has officially entered the zeitgeist. But ChatGPT (which as of yesterday is powering Bing) may have some company. Google announced its Chat competitor, Bard, citing that it “seeks to combine the breadth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence and creativity of our large language models”. The AI chat wars are officially heating up 🔥

I’ve been sitting on the sidelines of the ChatGPT discussion. Mainly because when I see the LinkedIn grifting set selling me the ‘top 10 business ideas using *insert new technology like ChatGPT* that you should start right now’ I tend to recoil.

However, its potential power and influence are impossible to ignore.

From a commercial perspective, Chat recently released its paid for subscription tier which is reported to make $200m ARR out of the gates 🤯. Couple this with B2B opportunities and a broader ad supported model and I can see how the £1b in revenue predicted for 2024 is doable.

But what will this mean for the user experience? One of the benefits of ChatGPT versus Google search right now is that I get a concise, ad-free answer to my question. Although the answer might be a little broad and dubious, it’s simple and elegant.

There is an argument that Microsoft can be more creative with their commercialisation as they’re not an ad supported business like Google. However, I’m pretty sure they want to recoup their £10b. And if they’re not going to run ads, that’s a lot of fuck’n subs to acquire and retain. So if ads are coming, what’s to stop the UX from devolving back to the current Google search experience?

Commercialisation and UX aside, am I worried about it? Not particularly. I see it as a tool to enhance my content not replace me as a person. However, would I be worried if I were a junior content writer at Buzzfeed? Probably.

In either case, I do find it curious the amount of hype going on here and why this hype isn’t being directed toward simpler and more relevant problems. As it stands, if I need to get an MRI and ultrasound (both of which I’ve had in the past few months) I need to fill out the same physical form multiple times. Equally, buying a house in the UK is universally considered an administrative shit show. In fact, it is the 7th most stressful thing one can endure (according to a Metro poll from 2022).

So where am I at with it all?

Yep. It’s probably going to change the world and make a zillion dollars in the process. But I think Tom Goodwin summarised it best. He doesn’t want AI to create art for him, he wants it to take care of painful, laborious tasks - like booking an MRI or buying a house - so HE can create art.

Amen, brother 🙏