Big crisis of Big Tech means innovation curve had plateaued
SummaryThe layoffs and share-price drops that marked 2022, a painful year, have happened before and are typically followed by an upswing.
Joshua Browder, a 26-year-old UK entrepreneur, recently supercharged his main product in a way that he could hardly have imagined a few years ago. His startup DoNotPay developed a chatbot that could negotiate erroneous or excessive fines and fees on people’s behalf—think unfair parking tickets—by building a database of expertise based on its history of human interactions. The bot often needed manual intervention, but in December the bot “talked" to Comcast’s online customer service and managed to save someone $120 on a broadband bill. Browder said it was the first time any such bill had been negotiated purely by AI. How? Browder got access to GPT-3, OpenAI’s large language model that understands language and sounds human. Browder now plans an AI lawyer that can whisper to people through earphones when they’re in traffic court. His startup, valued at $210 million, is among a flurry of services being built on generative AI tools like GPT-3 and DALL-E. Others offer to draft emails, open marketplaces or replace Google search. They are coming at a time of broader changes in tech, a major industry that market and regulatory squeezes could turn more productive.