The Future Of AI Language Models
"There's no substitute for trying things out and seeing what works."
Steve Shwartz is an award winning author, angel investor, serial entrepreneur, and one of the foundational engineers behind AI technologies like natural language processing. On this episode of Forward Obsessed, we dive deep into the profitable (and tumultuous) world of Artificial Intelligence and AI Language Models.
Our guest is Steve Schwartz, an accomplished AI engineer, author, investor, and entrepreneur who has built and sold multiple companies and novel AI technologies. Steve shares his incredible story of developing AI language models in the 80’s, his insights on the current state of AI, and analyzes the tools and technologies being used in the AI arms race. We discuss Steve's background and his unlikely transition from academia to entrepreneurship, how language models worked then vs. now, Chat GPT, and the potential for AI to transform the way our society operates. Finally, we also dive into potential use cases and concerns around AI, "killer robots," and reflect on the future of Artificial Intelligence.
The Future Of AI Language Models
Everyone is familiar with ChatGPT and the other Artificial Intelligence natural language processors that are taking the world by storm. It is a field that has brought unprecedented changes to our lives and continues to do so, but it’s origins come from the 1980s and the incredible work done by AI pioneers such as Steve Shwartz. As a founder and co-founder of multiple AI-centric companies, including Esperant and Device42, Shwartz has had an indelible impact on the field, particularly within Natural Language Processing (NLP).
NLP, in the 1980s, was an innovative concept with incredible potential. However, it almost died out due to the computational systems of that era being incapable of supporting the development and deployment of such complex technology. Shwartz's early ventures were a testament to these challenges. Despite their forward-thinking vision and ambition, the tech ecosystem at the time lacked the requisite computational power and algorithmic sophistication needed to fully realize the capabilities of NLP. In short, Steve was “too early.”
Fast-forward a few decades, and advancements in computing, combined with the evolution of machine learning and AI, have dramatically altered this landscape. Shwartz was pivotal in marrying machine learning with NLP, effectively pushing the technology beyond simple statistical analysis and into the realm of nuanced human language understanding. He was able to apply it to new industries, changing the way they operated and managed their data. He even changed the way we bet in horse races.
In more recent years, companies like OpenAI have further revolutionized the field. They've employed sophisticated deep learning models and vast datasets to develop NLP tools like Chat GPT. These tools have been democratized, making them available for a broad audience and in turn catalyzing a significant shift in the technological world. The launch of such NLP products has been nothing short of groundbreaking, revolutionizing numerous industries from customer service to content creation. OpenAI created a product that could be used by anyone, allowing them to solve their own business problems using the innovative technology.
However, despite these advances, Shwartz, in his book “Evil Robots, Killer Computers, and Other Myths: The Truth About AI and the Future of Humanity”, makes a clear case against the fear that these AI products will take over the world. He asserts that AI is ultimately a tool that we control. It's not an autonomous entity but a manifestation of human ingenuity and innovation. Its power, therefore, remains under our stewardship.
Steve Shwartz's profound influence on the realm of AI and NLP has been instrumental in their development. His ventures, insights, and the ensuing technological revolution brought about by organizations like OpenAI have made NLP one of the most sought-after technologies in the contemporary world. His wisdom also provides a balanced view of the field, highlighting both the potential and the responsibilities that come with such influential technology.