The State of AI in Early 2023

Toby Deshane & Eric Wagoner
july 7th, 2023

During an internal company meeting in early 2023, Toby Deshane gave a talk about the capabilities and potential risks of AI tools such as ChatGPT and CoPilot, both quite new at the time. It also addresses common questions such as ethics, cost, privacy concerns, and the growing possibility of open-source alternatives. The rapidly evolving nature of the field has aged some material here, but in general it still provides a unique insight into this exciting nascent era in history.

For fun, we made an AI tool watch this video and summarize it for us. This is what it had to say, in raw unedited form:

Summary: ChatGPT is a chatbot that can respond to natural conversations and comprehend complicated questions. Meanwhile, CoPilot is an AI-assisted programming tool built on GPT-3 that can save time by generating useful code suggestions but can also produce irrelevant or inaccurate responses. The speaker warns junior programmers to avoid using CoPilot as it can introduce subtle bugs and security holes and recommends verifying and vetting code pulled from GitHub. The speaker also addresses common questions about CoPilot, including its cost, opt-out options for private data, and the possibility of open-source clones. Finally, the speaker ends with a joke and advises the audience to enjoy themselves.

First Five Minutes: In this section of the video, the speaker introduces ChatGPT, a prototype of a chatbot that uses the GPT-3 model, a generative, pre-trained transformer with 175 billion parameters trained on massive corpses of publicly available data including “Common Crawl” and Wikipedia. The new model can respond to natural conversation without any special syntax, remembers the context, and comprehends complicated questions. ChatGPT can be used for mundane and creative purposes such as writing articles, generating interactive free-form text adventures, and simulating conversations with historical figures. It even has the capability of a bash prompt.

Second Five Minutes: In this section, the speaker discusses the potential malicious uses of AI tools like ChatGPT. While these tools have been used for harmless coding experiments, they can also generate code from malware or be used to create completely automated, believable trolls or disinformation campaigns. The speaker notes that there is no way to go back and that humanity will need to deal with this new technology. Despite its capabilities, the speaker cautions that AI tools like GPT-3 and CoPilot are limited by their biases and inaccuracies. CoPilot, a mid-2021 AI-assisted programming tool for VS Code built on GPT-3, is introduced as an example of a more technical application of this technology.

Third Five Minutes: In this section, the speaker demonstrates various examples of CoPilot’s capabilities, including setting up an argument parser for Python, creating self-documenting opcodes for Chip-8 in C, and serving multiple endpoints for Flask API and Express API. While CoPilot can save time and generate useful code suggestions, the speaker warns that it can also produce irrelevant, inaccurate, or bizarre responses, making it crucial for an experienced programmer to sift through its suggestions. The speaker advises that junior programmers should avoid using CoPilot as it can introduce subtle bugs and security holes, and recommends verifying and vetting the code pulled from the entire corpus of GitHub.

Final Minutes: In this section, the speaker addresses common questions about the chatbot AI model called CoPilot. He explains that while there is a 60-day trial, CoPilot costs $10 per month and there is a free tier available for educational or open-source use. Additionally, he notes that CoPilot can be opted-out of sending back private data, but it’s uncertain what packets might be sent back to GitHub. While he couldn’t find a clear analysis himself, there are open-source clones in the works, and for those who want to run it locally, it would be possible to have a “local AI box” that one could interrogate from their own machine. Finally, the speaker makes a joke about not being an AI before telling the audience to get drunk and signing off.

– ChatGPT

Not nearly as entertaining as Toby, but not too shabby!

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