Since it was caught by mainstream media, it seems like OpenAI came out of nowhere. All of a sudden, this technology is showing up everywhere, whether it be AI generated images or new tricks people are learning to use with NLG (I’m looking at you, Excel formula tricks).
However, it didn’t happen out of nowhere. Major breakthroughs from OpenAI were released well over two years ago. If you followed YouTube channels like Two Minute Papers or had played with the technology that had started to be released, it was very clear that it was going somewhere cool fast. However, most of us don’t play with things outside of the domain where we work, which is why when big things happen, they appear out of nowhere. For those watching, the ground was shaking long before the eruption.
We might visit a mall that we haven’t gone to in awhile and say, “wow, that store just opened”. It affects us, it delights us, and it also surprises us as we weren’t anticipating it. The same delightful surprises will be occurring in other areas we don’t follow that are the result of accumulating advances.
Some other “out of nowhere” things we’ll see.
- Home robotics looks today like Roombas and Braavas. It will continue to look like this for the decade and then, poof, we’re going to see arms and actuators on laundry machines. We’ll see a general robot device for tasks around the home that will be reliable. Whoa… that got useful fast, we’ll say.
- Genomic medicine will reach scale by the end of the decade. It’ll be a sub-$100 test to get the whole genome sequenced and concurrent advances in CRISPR will mean useful applications coming to market to match this knowledge. It won’t just be for finding long lost relatives. All of a sudden, you’ll get a report on your genome and lifestyle changes. Where did that come from, we’ll ask.
- Cars will actually drive, well. Right now, self-driving technology seems like it’s being slowly adopted. That’s deceptive. The data being generated and used to model self-driving AI is increasing exponentially, along with new techniques. Oh, do I really need a car, we’ll think.
Exponential technology crawls along until it hits us in the face. It doesn’t come from nowhere.