One year ago, ChatGPT began a revolution

Exactly one year ago, OpenAI launched a basic web tool called ChatGPT. It was not the first publicly available AI chatbot on the internet, nor was it the first large-scale language model. But over the next two months, it would explode into one of the most significant technological phenomena in recent memory.

Because of its exact and natural language abilities, people were quick to proclaim that the sky was falling and that sentient artificial intelligence had arrived to consume us all. Alternatively, the opposite side places its optimism for humanity within the confines of OpenAI. The discussion between these opposing viewpoints has raged on till now, highlighted by the drama at OpenAI and a slew of conspiracy theories suggested as an explanation.

Of fact, the past year of living with ChatGPT and its many clones has demonstrated that neither of these strongly held beliefs were correct. I’m not going to sit here and claim that ChatGPT and generative AI haven’t made an impact on the world. It has been disruptive in a variety of ways, many of which have yet to be fully understood. Consider the role it played in the SAG-AFTRA strikes for a simple example. AI even captured the interest of the federal government, resulting in the President’s executive order on AI. Some of the implications are just knee-jerk reactions, while others represent the first serious steps toward a completely AI-driven world.

Most of the time, life goes on as usual. In May 2023, a Pew survey found that 58% of Americans had heard of ChatGPT, but just 14% had tried it personally. Although the number has increased since then, the user base has declined in recent months rather than growing. Remember that, while ChatGPT immediately became the fastest-growing tech product of all time, it was surpassed by Threads only a few months later. Even as a writer and editor, ChatGPT has a lot lower impact on the sector I work in than you might expect.

Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying: ChatGPT was a major deal when it first began, and it will continue to be in the future. Your guess is as good as mine about how widespread and far-reaching the consequences will be. While chatbots highlight the remarkable “AI” persona, the true value lies in the seamless integration of this technology with the products and services we already use on a daily basis.

Will November 2022 be remembered as a watershed moment in technology history, or as another overhyped footnote? A year later, I’m still not sure where I stand on the matter. But, as far as I’m concerned, that’s reason to be optimistic about what comes next.

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