Generative AI is Having a Throw-Everything-at-the-Wall Moment

Jennifer Golbeck discusses the sudden rise of AI services and its eventual impact on society.
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It seems like every day another company announces a new generative AI product or service. From apps that summarize your meetings to platforms that help with photo editing and customer support bots, generative AI is all any tech firm wants to talk about.

Still, not every piece of generative AI software is going to be a breakthrough like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the bot that helped kick off this new tech revolution. But don’t expect that to slow the seemingly endless parade of platforms and tools coming to market. Even if some of those products appear doomed from the outset.

“I think we are in kind of a ‘spaghetti-at-the-wall’ stage,” explained Emily DeJeu, assistant teaching professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business.

“We're just trying to find what is the use-case for this? And in order to figure that out, it's almost like we're going to do everything with it.”

Generative AI everywhere

The fact that generative AI is spawning a slew of new products shouldn’t be all that surprising. After all, we’ve seen the tech industry respond to huge trends like this in the same way before.

"[It] reminds me a lot of the dot-com boom in the very late '90s, early 2000s, where everybody's like, ‘I need to get a website," explained Jennifer Golbeck, professor and director of the Social Intelligence Lab and who is an affiliate faculty in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland.

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