AI and the Big Five
Comment of the Day

January 09 2023

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

AI and the Big Five

This article from Ben Thompson may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:  

Indeed, the biggest winners may be Nvidia and TSMC. Nvidia’s investment in the CUDA ecosystem means the company doesn’t simply have the best AI chips, but the best AI ecosystem, and the company is investing in scaling that ecosystem up. That, though, has and will continue to spur competition, particularly in terms of internal chip efforts like Google’s TPU; everyone, though, will make their chips at TSMC, at least for the foreseeable future.

The biggest impact of all though, though, is probably off our radar completely. Just before the break Nat Friedman told me in a Stratechery Interview about Riffusion, which uses Stable Diffusion to generate music from text via visual sonograms, which makes me wonder what else is possible when images are truly a commodity. Right now text is the universal interface, because text has been the foundation of information transfer since the invention of writing; humans, though, are visual creatures, and the availability of AI for both the creation and interpretation of images could fundamentally transform what it means to convey information in ways that are impossible to predict.

For now, our predictions must be much more time-constrained, and modest. This may be the beginning of the AI epoch, but even in tech, epochs take a decade or longer to transform everything around them.

Eoin Treacy's view

ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence models are growing in capability and the pace of development is accelerating. There is a big question about how consumers will react to intrusive predictive models and how the sector will ultimately be regulated. However, if history is any guide these issues arise after a significant interval and prices move ahead regardless.

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