Home > Artificial Intelligence, Copyright, Innovation, Intellectual Property > Generative AI / Generative IP (Part 3: Now What?)

Generative AI / Generative IP (Part 3: Now What?)

My previous posts described the rise of Generative AI applications and their usability super-powers, as well as their implications for mass AI adoption, ethics and intellectual property, but the question remains – How should the average person respond to what some describe as a critical and transformative step in our collective human experience and cultural evolution?

Note: This is the last in a series of posts intended to explore the capabilities, implications and potential ways to adapt and take advantage of opportunities offered by Generative AI. The final carriage concludes with some admonitions, premonitions and recommendations for the way forward.  So, all aboard!.

Please have some perspective – Generative AI, for all its wow factor, is only a small piece of the puzzle-within-a-puzzle landscape of emerging technologies and their cumulative impact, (or permutations thereof), on human society and culture. It does have limitations and simply can’t do it all – not yet anyway.

  • For example, AI lacks certain things that we take for granted, such as common sense reasoning, cause and effect and human values. It is clear that current large-dataset-oriented generative AI applications are not optimal for semantic understanding compared to their symbolic AI counterparts. There may even be scope to combine both and achieve the holy grail of machine common sense and explainable AI. Hmmm… 
  • Another concern for data-guzzling generative AI models is their reliance on Internet data for training which, according to this MIT newsletter article, could lead to the slow poisoning of their Internet data well with inaccurate or otherwise flawed AI-generated content. Perhaps if there was a way to identify said (AI-generated) content in the wild, it may also help to address this and other concerns & consequences around original vs. AI-generated works.  Hmmm…!
  • Finally, we must bear in mind that the history of AI is replete with so-called AI Winters, i.e. painful repercussions from over-inflated expectations around the latest developments which often fail to deliver. This is not our first rodeo, nor is it the only transformational game in town – but more on this later.

BUT do get excited about the future (within reason) – It is undeniably evident that something special is happening at an extraordinary point in time, therefore some excitement is in order, for the following reasons:

  • First, The UX is here to stay – ChatGPT-level accessibility / ease-of-use is like a bridge that once crossed cannot be uncrossed. This is pretty significant for mass adoption and bodes very well for generative AI and other models. My previous blog posts about NFTs and IP bemoaned the tough accessibility and poor user experience for good reason.   
  • Second, as with most emerging tech applications and use cases/scenarios, generative AI provides some amazing opportunities to explore ideas and topics in ways not previously visible or viable. For example,  Malik Afegbua’s aforementioned Elder Series brings to life an alternative view of ageing in a way that is both important and engaging to the many age-honouring cultures of the world
  • Third, businesses are not immune to the air of excitement surrounding this topic – most businesses are asking the same question: how can we use ChatGPT to transform our business? This excellent article by McKinsey attempts to scratch the surface of this question, along with some pretty insightful observations and recommendations.
  • Finally, and make no mistake, this appears to be a true game changer in every sense of the word. Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI may bear fruit with GPT-enhanced products (e.g. Teams, Viva Sales and Bing). However, this is not really news as they and many other software companies have been at this for a while and to varying degrees of success.

AND be prepared for whatever the fudge happens – the reality is that emerging-tech-enabled change is happening at an unprecedented scale, not only with AI applications but also with other potentially game-changing technologies which together create undreamt possibilities and untapped potential for emergent innovation and use cases. The key to riding this wave will include:

  1. Need to educate yourself – humanity’s superpower is its adaptability and resilience to adversity. This is usually under-pinned by irresistible curiosity and thirst for knowledge. Even businesses and their leadership must play by the same rule book if they are to survive. Again, McKinsey provides an executives guide to AI which is worth a scan at the very least.
  2. Speed is a constant – Things are moving pretty fast so it can be quite daunting to keep on top of key developments and to separate the signal from the noise/hype. Some of these game-changing applications did not, and possibly could not, exist even just 10-20 years ago
  3. Finally, get involved and have a play – These applications require the right balance of diverse input to deliver some value to the many. The field is open for those that have an appetite for experimentation and discovery. What better place to start than with tools such as ChatGPT, Stable Diffusion, MidJourney and so many others which are only just starting to lift the covers on a whole world of AI-enabled possibilities.

In Conclusion:

2022 was a momentous year in so many ways, not least of which were several notably transitional events, e.g.: the end of a pandemic-induced lockdown/travel restrictions and significant scientific and technological innovations. In any case, It is obvious that generative AI presents some key challenges and opportunities for IP. It’ll take a combination of foresight and harnessing its capabilities, along with a good dollop of human common sense and compassion to evolve the right IP regime for the new world we are about to enter.

Coincidentally, another global pandemic a century ago occurred right alongside some game-changing innovations such as the mass production of automobiles and we know the impact it had on humanity since. Now, as we inhale collectively in anticipation of the various innovations, new thinking and emergent practices that 2023 promises, I wonder if it’ll be to the same degree and scale of impact, and/or what might be different if we could fast forward to the early 22nd Century.

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