Former executive at OpenAI
- OpenAI and ChatGPT, noting technologies and offerings
- Partnership with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and the potential to add features and capabilities to Azure, Bing, Microsoft 365 and others
- Competitive threats posed to Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL), most notably Google Search, as well as Google Cloud Platform, in addition to Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) AWS
Most of us have presumably heard a lot about OpenAI and its ChatGPT platform or service, but how would you characterise the company and product?
I think many people would point to ChatGPT’s strong human-like text and potential to be used for a wide variety of applications. It seems these two things really resonate with people. You alluded to how people can just say, “I want to use this,” and you can basically load it up in a variety of different ways and it’s there, unless it’s over capacity. To what extent is the platform and service differentiated? Or do you think what it accomplishes isn’t much more developed or advanced vs other comparable offerings?
I think there is also a focus on this notion of ChatGPT being generative, which is differentiated from a lot of the other services that people are familiar with. How important do you think that is? Do you think that will be the overarching trend in this thread of AI and machine learning applications?
You mentioned people’s familiarity with such offerings tends to come from Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. To what extent do you think ChatGPT will continue to stay focused on text, especially given the repository and ability to go from large to small text, and small to large text? Presumably it would be a very fundamentally different challenge to take that to voice. How much do you think this plays into how the team thinks about ChatGPT’s next iterations and how to develop the technology?
I think people are really interested in the industries and use cases where ChatGPT has the most near-term opportunities. We could flip that and ask, “Which industries and use cases are most vulnerable to this technology?” Do you have any thoughts on how people should be thinking about this? You mentioned the notion of coding and a code assistant – there’s plenty of anecdotal commentary around marketing, email messages and so on. What readily comes to mind in terms of industries and use cases that are worth paying attention to over the near term?
To clarify, when you refer to GPT-3, it is what ChatGPT is currently using – you’re talking about roughly 175 billion parameters. The expectation is to move to GPT-4, which has roughly 100 trillion parameters – maybe 100x the current parameters of GPT-3. When might this move take place? Do you expect it in the next couple of months or quarters?
One of the shortcomings of ChatGPT that has been highlighted is, if you use the platform, it becomes readily apparent that the data repository is from 2021 and before. How soon do you think it’ll be until it includes everything up until current, or almost has a real-time element to it?
What do you see as the most obvious and significant monetisation opportunities? It would seem that what ChatGPT is doing isn’t really sustainable, if you will. I know there are examples of a commercial version of ChatGPT, engaging in licensing and custom solutions, but what specifically would you highlight as the avenues OpenAI will likely pursue most significantly?
Many people refer to ChatGPT as a strong current and future competitor to Google Search. Clearly, there is a broadened, expanded relationship with Microsoft, but can you see a scenario where this is simply an enhanced version of Bing? Or is this going to have its own search offering, separate from Bing? Can they both exist?
Do you expect OpenAI to seek a simpler form of monetisation with ChatGPT, sooner rather than later, where users conduct research or a search and there will be advertising in one form or another?
The Microsoft relationship was significantly bolstered in recent days and weeks. How do you see that playing out in terms of the different places Microsoft is, and how OpenAI and ChatGPT could enhance certain products and services? People would probably point to Bing and Microsoft 365, but you were talking about the gaming industry benefiting, which is a big vertical for Microsoft. Could you elaborate on how it might start with Azure? What do you think will happen next in this partnership?
What about the products that are used from a consumer standpoint? You touched on Bing but what about using OpenAI and ChatGPT to enhance Microsoft 365? For example, it would make sense to tap into OpenAI and the generative AI capability within ChatGPT to help with Word or Outlook, where people are engaged in writing. Is that how we should be thinking about this?
You mentioned GitHub, which is owned by Microsoft, and how Azure and some of the IT optimisation could benefit from OpenAI. How does this influence people when they’re using competitors such as AWS and GCP [Google Cloud Platform]? I think GCP has historically been known as leading and potentially having better AI and machine learning tools. Do you think this could substantially change the competitive landscape when it comes to that particular use case or differentiator?
If we look at the big tech companies that have made substantial investments in AI and machine learning over the last number of years, we’ve got Microsoft, Alphabet/Google, Amazon, Apple with Siri and Amazon with Alexa. I think the conventional wisdom is that the investment or close aligning of Microsoft and OpenAI really gives Microsoft a leg up. Alphabet/Google invested in DeepMind many years ago, but we haven’t heard much about it. Meanwhile, people are expecting Google to announce a series of AI and machine learning innovations at OpenAI in a few months. How do you think the companies stack up at this point?
What’s your take on the competitive threat OpenAI and ChatGPT poses to Google and Google Search? According to news flow, the launch of ChatGPT caused Google to issue the equivalent of what people are talking about as a “code red,” related to its search service in business. Is that the right way to think about it or is that an overreaction? Do you see ChatGPT, whether it’s freestanding or as part of an enhanced Bing offering, really taking significant market share from Google Search over the next 1-3 years?
How do you see the next couple of quarters or years playing out as it pertains to Alphabet/Google? I think people are concerned about how OpenAI and ChatGPT might have a negative impact on growth, market share or profitability for the Google Search advertising-related business. Additionally, notwithstanding Google’s announced lay-offs and restructuring efforts, people seem worried that the company is poised to spend aggressively in these areas to keep up and potentially leapfrog the competition, especially with pressure from Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI. How do you see these two concerns playing out over H1 2023 or through to 2024?
Which other players would you highlight as making an impact when it comes to the broad AI sphere? Which other companies have interesting and exciting technologies that might emerge over the next couple of quarters?
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