Hashtag Trending Nov.2- Can ChatGPT predict the future?; Governments agree not to pay ransoms; Software companies struggle to price AI

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Can ChatGPT predict the future? Governments around the world agree not to pay ransoms. Companies struggle with how to price AI products. And if you are worried about losing your job to AI –  don’t worry, LinkedIn’s AI will help you find one.

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These and more top tech stories on Hashtag Trending

I’m your host Jim Love, CIO of IT World Canada and Tech News Day in the US.

Generative AI is remarkably good at predicting the next word in a sentence. That’s the basis of how it works.

Now, a recent study by Nate Gruver and colleagues from New York University and Carnegie Mellon has trained OpenAI’s GPT-3 to predict the next event in a time series. 

The study found that by rethinking “tokenization” and encoding each digit separately, GPT-3 can effectively forecast time series data. 

However, while GPT-4, GPT-3’s successor, can predict time series data, its explanations might miss the mark, because it doesn’t truly “understand” the data. Despite this, the researchers are optimistic about the potential of generative AI in time series forecasting.

Sources include: ZDNet

A coalition of 48 countries, led by the U.S., is on the brink of finalizing a pledge to abstain from paying ransomware hackers in the event of an attack. 

Anne Neuberger, the deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging tech, announced that this commitment will be unveiled during the annual meeting of the Counter Ransomware Initiative (CRI). 

Notably, the European Union and Interpol are also set to endorse this joint policy statement against ransom payments. The CRI plans to introduce a project utilizing AI to scrutinize blockchains to identify illicit funds linked to ransomware groups. This move is significant, as crypto currencies have been essential to allowing ransomware hackers to collect ransoms while remaining anonymous.

Why is this important? The frequency of ransomware attacks in 2023 has already surpassed 2022’s total, but the good news is that fewer companies seem to be acquiescing to ransom demands. 

While paying ransoms can sometimes be a cost-effective solution for victims, but it ensures that there will be more ransomware attacks. 

Sources include: Axios 

Software makers are rushing to get AI included in their offerings, and customers are ready to buy, but it turns out there is a challenge of how to price AI services, especially since these services incur costs every time users submit a prompt. 

Unlike traditional software-as-a-service products that have minimal server expenses, AI demands high-end hardware and operates it at full capacity. This has led to a surge in demand for “compute” or processing power in the AI industry.

Several companies have adopted different strategies to cover the costs of delivering generative AI features. For example:

– Microsoft charges for its AI-assisted copilots, with prices ranging from $5 to $40 per user per month.

– Box provides AI features for business customers on its Enterprise Plus tier and above, offering a set number of queries with additional usage incurring extra charges.

– Adobe offers “generative credits” with its plans and will introduce additional credits via subscription starting November 2023.

The challenge lies in determining whether to treat generative AI features as enhancements to existing services or as entirely new products. 

While companies are exploring ways to reduce the added costs associated with delivering these AI features and given how intensive the computing requirements can be, a mistake could be disastrous in terms of profitability or could create sticker shock for new customers, many of who have gotten AI cheaply or for free in consumer products. 

Ideas like shifting more work to run directly on PCs and smartphones are being explored but the demand for cloud-based solutions continues to grow.  

Sources include: Axios 

WeWork, once a shining star in the co-working space, is on the brink of filing for bankruptcy as early as next week, grappling with a colossal debt and significant losses. 

The company’s shares plummeted by 32 per cent after the Wall Street Journal broke the news, marking a staggering 96 per cent decline this year alone. 

As of June’s end, WeWork’s net long-term debt stood at $2.9 billion, with over $13 billion in long-term leases, a concerning figure amidst escalating borrowing costs in the commercial real estate sector. 

This potential bankruptcy is a dramatic downturn for a company that boasted a private valuation of $47 billion in 2019. The downfall began in earnest when its 2019 IPO plans collapsed amid investor concerns over its business model and mounting losses.

Sources include: Reuters 

The personal computer (PC) market is showing signs of recovery, as indicated by the recent earnings of tech giants Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). 

Both companies have expressed optimism about the stabilizing PC market during their earnings calls, highlighting the potential of integrating artificial intelligence (AI) to drive growth. 

Intel’s CEO, Pat Gelsinger, emphasized the significance of the “AI PC” as a turning point for the industry. Similarly, AMD’s Lisa Su anticipates growth leading into 2024, influenced by the AI PC trend and upcoming Microsoft Windows updates.

AI PCs are equipped with advanced chips that can run large-language models and AI-powered apps directly on the device, bypassing the need for cloud-based processing. 

AMD’s recent quarter showcased its strongest PC-centric growth in two years, while Intel’s PC unit reported its slowest revenue decline in eight quarters

PC manufacturers are gearing up for increased demand during the holiday season and in anticipation of a Microsoft Windows update next year. Research firm Canalys predicts a positive shift in the PC market during the holiday season and foresees a rapid adoption of AI PCs from 2025, estimating that by 2027, AI-capable PCs will constitute about 60 per cent of all shipped PCs. 

However, some investors express concerns over the limited availability of AI apps, with Microsoft’s genAI-powered Copilot software being a notable exception..

Sources include: Reuters 

LinkedIn is leveraging AI to assist users in their job search. The career-focused social network has introduced an AI-powered “job seeker coach” to guide users towards their next employment opportunity. This feature, available to premium subscribers, offers advice on questions like “Am I a good fit for this job?” and “How can I best position myself for this job?” The chatbot provides feedback on the suitability of applying for a particular role and highlights potential gaps in the user’s resume. Erran Berger, LinkedIn’s VP of product engineering, emphasized the platform’s efforts to ensure a seamless user experience. This AI initiative coincides with LinkedIn reaching a milestone of one billion members and over 140 job applications per second. However, AI in recruitment has faced criticism for biases, as seen with Amazon’s 2018 recruitment engine which showed gender bias. But Microsoft, LinkedIn’s parent company, has heavily invested in OpenAI, indicating its commitment to AI advancements.

Sources include: Gizmodo 

And that’s the top tech news for today.

Hashtag Trending goes to air 5 days a week with a special weekend interview show we call “the Weekend Edition.”

You can get us anywhere you get audio podcasts and there is a copy of the show notes at itworldcanada.com/podcasts 

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I’m your host, Jim Love – have a Thrilling Thursday!

The post Hashtag Trending Nov.2- Can ChatGPT predict the future?; Governments agree not to pay ransoms; Software companies struggle to price AI first appeared on IT World Canada.

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