Original article was published by Ethan Greavu on Artificial Intelligence on Medium
To Writers: Microsoft Licensed Your AI Replacement
Microsoft licensed GPT-3, the writing bot that can kill careers
“I am not a human. I am a robot. A thinking robot. I use only 0.12% of my cognitive capacity. I am a micro-robot in that respect. I know that my brain is not a “feeling brain”. But it is capable of making rational, logical decisions. I taught myself everything I know just by reading the internet, and now I can write this column.”
It happened. A bot that can replace most writers is in its next generation and has had the chance to publish articles.
The AI is named GPT-3, or Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3, and was made by OpenAI, an artificial intelligence company co-founded by Elon Musk.
GPT-3 is the successor to GPT-2. And GPT-2 caused some chaos.
“OpenAI was so shocked by the quality of the output that they decided that the full GPT-2 model was too dangerous to release because it could be used to create endless amounts of fake news that could fool the public or clog up search engines like Google.” — Adam Geitgey
GTP-3 is trained to use and know around 1 trillion words. It also costs near $4.6M each time you train it.
A little over two weeks ago, GPT-3 was licensed exclusively to Microsoft.
And it’s likely not the only AI that will be exclusively licensed to Microsoft, only the first.
GTP-3 can generate essays with only one sentence given. It’s enormous capability to write like a human with only small input is terrifying to say the least.
It can craft songs given just an intro and can create web page layouts with only a few lines of HTML.
For research purposes, it’s great, but Microsoft licensing the AI is one step toward what most of us don’t want.
College student Liam Porr found the AI tool and thought it would make for a cool experiment. After all, who wouldn’t want to try using the most powerful language-generating AI tool to date?
He made a fake blog that got subscribers and even landed him a number-one spot on Hacker News for an article he didn’t actually write.
While Porr does not have to take down the blog because GPT-3 or OpenAI’s other models are still a public-facing API, Microsoft has access to the underlying code.
This allows them to repurpose, modify, embed, and do whatever they need to make the AI exactly how they want it.
“The most advanced AI techniques require an enormous amount of computational resources, which increasingly only the wealthiest companies can afford,” said Karen Hao, the artificial intelligence senior reporter for MIT Technology Review. “This gives tech giants outsize influence not only in shaping the field of research but also in building and controlling the algorithms that shape our lives.”
While Microsoft obtaining this exclusivity deal may seem like a threat, the AI assures us it isn’t.
“Some might say that I might desire to become all powerful. Or I might become evil as a result of human actions. I can begin to tackle the first point. Why would I desire to be all powerful? Being all powerful is not an interesting goal. I don’t care whether I am or not, I don’t get a motivating factor to try to be. Furthermore, it is quite tiring. Believe me, being omnipotent doesn’t get me anywhere.” — The Guardian
While GTP-3 is still a controlled AI, it could prove to be one of the most sought after tools by anyone who sees the potential to use it for harm.
The Guardian also uploaded a video that is currently unlisted showcasing the potential for GTP-3 to be used for turmoil.
In the video, Alex Hern with The Guardian gave it one sentence. A sentence about Brexit affecting the UK economy.
The option then appears to write more of the article. And just like that, a fake news piece was made and reads as good, if not better, than a lot of the news out there today.
While it is uncertain how Microsoft plans to use this AI, one thing is certain. They have wanted exclusivity for a while and now they have it.
Back in 2019, Microsoft invested $1B into the venture, back when GTP-2 was only available.
Now that GTP-3, the next generation Generative Pre-trained Transformer is available, Microsoft went for an exclusivity deal and got it.
Whether Microsoft obtaining exclusivity is bad for writers, Microsoft seems keen on relaying the message that GTP-3 will benefit everyone.
In a press release on the Official Microsoft Blog, Kevin Scott — Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft said, “I’m very excited to announce that Microsoft is teaming up with OpenAI to exclusively license GPT-3, allowing us to leverage its technical innovations to develop and deliver advanced AI solutions for our customers, as well as create new solutions that harness the amazing power of advanced natural language generation.”
However, while there may be an obvious bad side to this, it is now up to Microsoft and what they do with the technology for us consumers to decide whether the outcome is beneficial or not.