A leader in generative AI walks into a bar… its successor ducks

Appreciable shifts in culture are usually so iterative that we can only appreciate them in hindsight. Over time, small cracks form in rock-solid societal norms, and one-time outliers become commonplace. Take a look at the earliest rumblings of the women’s suffrage movement and a 100+ year march to the right to vote, for example.

Once in a great while, though, something powerful and new taps us on the shoulder, as if to tell us “the future is here.” The Beatles’ first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 changed the course of music and fame forever. The first time we realized everyone on the subway had *white* earbuds in 2001, clearly signaling that the iPod had arrived, and you needed one. And that period between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2022, when suddenly everyone’s social media profile picture looked awesome, thanks to Lensa – followed shortly by our LinkedIn and Twitter feeds filled with nothing but fun experiments with ChatGPT.

In the two months since ChatGPT’s introduction, 100 million users gave it a try, while business and technology press breathlessly covered the product and other generative AI tools, along with the companies behind the technology. Microsoft’s early deal with OpenAI, and rapid “Hail Mary” development pushes from the likes of Google and Meta show that this is an inflection point for big tech, and it has the potential to reshape the way we integrate and interact with it in our lives.

Of course, it’s still early days and there are many, many more questions than answers. In I, Robot, Isaac Asimov introduced three Laws of Robotics. It will be interesting to see if they still suffice for generative AI once we’ve gotten through a few iterations:

“The Three Laws of Robotics:

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm;

2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law;

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.”

In a few short weeks, Brands2Life will bring together an impressive group of US journalists, educators, and other tech-adjacent thinkers to explore some of the most burning early questions, like:

In education: Won’t students use AI to cheat? How are smart educators incorporating generative AI into the classroom?

In creativity: Doesn’t AI just steal from already published works of art? How do we protect artists? Do the laws around sampling music need to be updated and applied to other media?

In communication: What does this mean for communications professionals? Will one still be able to make a living as a writer? How will AI enable us to deliver more value?

In private: How much do generative AI tools learn about us? What do they retain? How much of our data is visible to others once it passes through a tool like ChatGPT?

Register for our free LinkedIn Live session, How generative AI will impact brand storytelling in 2023 on Tuesday, March 7 at 11:00 ET/16:00 GMT. A recording will be available following the session.