Did Google cheat on its comparison of Gemini to ChatGPT? Sam Altman is named CEO of the year by Time magazine and is ChatGPT on a work to rule?
These and more top tech stories on Hashtag Trending
I’m your host Jim Love, CIO of IT World Canada and Tech News Day in the US.
Sam Altman: TIME’s 2023 CEO of the Year
This story hit just after we recorded the Friday morning newscast, so you might have caught it already, but it is news.
Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, has been named TIME’s 2023 CEO of the Year. While Time’s person of the year is an event that we all watch for, I’m pretty certain that CEO of the year is a first for the magazine.
This marks a tumultuous yet transformative year for both Altman and the AI industry.
Altman’s journey this year included an intense boardroom struggle at OpenAI, where he was briefly ousted and then reinstated as CEO.
This period of corporate drama highlighted the significant impact of OpenAI’s products, particularly ChatGPT and GPT-4, which have revolutionized the tech world and brought AI into mainstream conversation.
OpenAI, initially a nonprofit, evolved into an $80 billion entity under Altman’s leadership, reflecting his vision of AI for humanity’s benefit.
However, the internal conflict raised questions about governance and the safe development of AI technologies.
Altman’s return as CEO after a dramatic showdown underscores his influential role in the AI sector and the high stakes involved in leading a company at the forefront of technological innovation.
Sources include: TIME’s article on Sam Altman
Google’s Gemini Project: A Marketing Mirage?
Google’s recent unveiling of its Gemini project, particularly the Gemini Ultra model, has created quite the controversy. Initially failing to meet its launch deadline, Google seemed to rush Gemini’s release, possibly feeling the heat from competitors like OpenAI and Microsoft.
Gemini Ultra, claimed to outperform OpenAI’s GPT-4 in various benchmarks, but raised eyebrows with its use of Chain of Thought (CoT) prompting at 32 shots, rather than the standard 5-shot learning, to boost its performance metrics.
Industry experts, including Bindu Reddy of Abacus AI, suggest that this methodology might be misleading, arguing that GPT-4 still holds superiority over Gemini Ultra.
Furthermore, the AI community questions the real-world impact of these benchmark victories, as customer engagement and product utility often outweigh technical metrics.
Adding to the skepticism, a demo video of Gemini Ultra was revealed to be edited (which might be saying it kindly) casting doubt on Google’s marketing tactics.
Some commentators were fooled and got AI egg on their faces after rave reviews. It was only after the controversy broke about the video that people noticed the small print that said that it had been edited and potentially, the real testing wasn’t exactly as shown.
This revelation is not just damaging to Google’s reputation. It leaves the industry wondering whether Gemini Ultra will really surpass its competitors on its full release.
Sources include: Analytics India Magazine’s article on Google’s Gemini
Austin’s Tech Scene: Losing Its Tech Companies?
Austin, Texas, once hailed as a burgeoning tech hub rivaling California’s Silicon Valley, is facing challenges and apparently seeing a bit of an exodus of tech companies.
The city, known for attracting tech companies and talent, is seeing a shift as startups begin to leave and key industry players reduce their presence. A significant development is the pause in operations of Techstars’ Austin chapter, a major startup accelerator, following the departure of its Managing Director, Amos Schwartzfarb.
This decision reflects broader concerns about Austin’s tech ecosystem, including brutal summers, a lackluster startup scene, and difficulties in securing funding, especially for midsize companies.
The city’s rising cost of living, particularly in housing, has also dampened its appeal. Venture funding in Austin has seen a notable decline, with a 46 per cent drop in the first three quarters of 2023 compared to the same period in 2021.
Other companies, like Cart and Laundris, have moved their headquarters out of Austin, citing various reasons including cost, convenience, and talent pool considerations. Despite these setbacks, some still see Austin as an attractive destination, but the gap between expectations and reality is becoming increasingly apparent.
Sources include: TechCrunch’s article on Austin’s tech scene
ChatGPT’s Performance Concerns: OpenAI Investigates reports of “laziness”?
OpenAI is currently investigating user complaints about ChatGPT’s performance, specifically its “laziness” in responding to queries. Users of the latest version, built on the GPT-4 model, have reported that ChatGPT often provides incomplete responses or appears disinterested in answering questions fully.
For example, when asked for code, ChatGPT might offer minimal information and then suggest users complete the task themselves, sometimes in what’s been termed a “sassy” manner.
These issues have been widely discussed in Reddit threads and OpenAI’s developer forums, leading to speculation that OpenAI might have intentionally modified ChatGPT to be more efficient and conserve computing resources. AI systems like ChatGPT require significant processing power, making detailed responses costly.
OpenAI acknowledged these concerns on Twitter, but stated that no recent updates have been made to the model that could explain this change in behavior. The company is looking into the matter but has not confirmed if they believe ChatGPT’s responses have indeed altered.
Sources include: The Independent’s article on ChatGPT’s performance
And that’s what’s trending today.
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I’m your host Jim Love. Have a marvelous Monday.