September 25, 2023

Emerging Technologies Highlights: Week of Sept 25, 2023

In a week brimming with significant tech developments, OpenAI takes the spotlight with the unveiling of the third iteration of DALL-E, its generative artificial intelligence (AI) visual art platform. This latest version introduces a compelling synergy with ChatGPT, allowing users to harness the power of AI-generated visual art by integrating it with natural language prompts. DALL-E 3 also exhibits enhanced contextual understanding, marking a step forward in AI creativity. As OpenAI gains momentum and begins to generate substantial revenue, analysts are asking whether the company is poised to become the next tech giant.

Meanwhile, AI's influence in professional sports management continues to grow as insights from AI-powered models increasingly shape decisions about players and their futures. In the broader sports industry, projections indicate a staggering $19.2 billion valuation for AI's role in revolutionizing sports by 2030. In the realm of art, however, AI's creative capabilities face a hurdle as the US Copyright Office board rules that AI-generated works lacking human authorship are ineligible for copyright protection. On the West Coast, Hollywood continues to grapple with the evolving role of AI in content creation, a major point of contention during negotiations in the ongoing writers' strike.

On the global stage, Japan embraces cryptocurrencies, allowing startups to raise funds through digital tokens, expanding funding options, and facilitating investment diversification. In a recent interview, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin discusses the cryptocurrency landscape, highlighting the growing regulatory crackdown in the US and the potential for developing countries to shape the crypto revolution. If current trends continue, the global South might prove more welcoming to crypto than the US and Europe – which would change the direction and focus of the industry.

The bottom line:  OpenAI announced the third version of its generative AI visual art platform, DALL-E, which now lets users use ChatGPT to create prompts and includes more safety options. DALL-E converts text prompts to images. But even DALL-E 2 got things wrong, often ignoring specific wording. The latest version, OpenAI researchers said, understands context much better. A new feature of DALL-E 3 is integration with ChatGPT. By using ChatGPT, someone doesn’t have to come up with a detailed prompt to guide DALL-E 3; they can just ask ChatGPT to come up with a prompt, and the chatbot will write out a paragraph (DALL-E works better with longer sentences) for DALL-E 3 to follow.

The bottom line: “The metaverse” and “health equity” aren’t typically mentioned in the same sentence, but they’re not as different as you may think. Both are large, complex, and multifaceted concepts, often misunderstood, with powerful implications beyond the confines of a particular industry, location, or population. Yet today’s technological climate and the potential capability to extend the physical world with emerging technologies present an opportunity for healthcare organizations to creatively reimagine health equity solutions.

The bottom line: OpenAI is a strange company. Though you may know it as the creator of the hit chatbot, ChatGPT, its founding mission was to make science fiction a reality by creating an artificial general intelligence (AGI), a machine so clever that it surpasses human abilities on any intellectual task. Despite this lofty mission, OpenAI is starting to act more like a normal business, concerned with maximizing revenues and minimizing costs. The firm’s distribution channels are now generating real cash; current monthly revenues add up to $1bn a year, compared with $28m in the year before ChatGPT was launched. Could OpenAI be on a path to becoming the next tech giant?

The bottom line: More than a dozen authors filed a lawsuit against OpenAI on Tuesday, accusing the company, which has been backed with billions of dollars in investment from Microsoft, of infringing on their copyrights by using their books to train its popular ChatGPT chatbot. The complaint, which was filed along with the Authors Guild, said that OpenAI’s chatbots can now produce “derivative works” that can mimic and summarize the authors’ books, potentially harming the market for authors’ work and that the writers were neither compensated nor notified by the company.

The bottom line: Like any business, NFL executives and leaders of other professional sports teams must make decisions about how best to allocate their limited budgets, placing informed bets on the ROI they will gain from assets (players, in this case), including as related to expected performance (on and off the field), future injuries, and other factors. But what if this year, AI could tell us how many games a player has left in their career, how many points they will score next season, or whether they will suffer a major injury in the near future? While free agency and other recruiting mechanisms have been around for decades, how decisions about players get made is changing rapidly. 

The bottom line: AI has many potential applications in the sports industry. It is becoming so ubiquitous that statistics show the AI segment in the sports industry will reach a value of 19.2 billion dollars by 2030. As far as practical applications are concerned, here is an example – AI can be used to analyze large amounts of data to identify patterns and trends. This information can improve player performance, make strategic decisions, and better understand the game. AI can also be used to create virtual reality environments used for training and player development. It is already being used by some of the biggest names in sports.

The bottom line: AI in art is facing a setback after a ruling that an award-winning image could not be copyrighted because it was not made sufficiently by humans. The decision, delivered by the US Copyright Office Review Board, found that Théâtre d’Opéra Spatial, an AI-generated image that won first place at the 2022 Colorado State Fair annual art competition, was not eligible because copyright protection “excludes works produced by non-humans.” The board ruled that “if all of a work’s ‘traditional elements of authorship’ were produced by a machine, the work lacks human authorship, and the Office will not register it”.

The bottom line: Hollywood writers and producers have made "major progress" in negotiations to end the strike that has gone on for 145 days. However, a major sticking point has been language over the use of A.I., two sources familiar with the negotiations said Saturday. Writers have complained that they have been shorted when it comes to their share of streaming revenue. They also want increased royalties, or residual payments, and protection against the possibility studios could use A.I.  to handle some writing duties and to cut them out of jobs.

The bottom line: The Japanese government has announced a new policy aimed at supporting start-ups and embracing cryptocurrencies. Under the new rules, startups will be allowed to offer cryptocurrencies instead of stocks when receiving investment from investment funds, making it easier for businesses to raise funds. This move is part of the country’s broader effort to boost the startup ecosystem. The new policy will apply to investment limited partnerships (LPS) that invest in securities issued by startups. This will enable startups to diversify their funding sources and provide more options for investors.

The bottom line: Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of the second-most-popular cryptocurrency, sat down with CNBC’s MacKenzie Sigalos in Prague, one of the new crypto hotbeds in Europe. He discussed the growing crypto crackdown in the U.S. and suggested that developing countries would continue the crypto revolution. He also talked about his outsized role in the cryptocurrency he created but contended that his creation has taken on a life of its own and is more resistant to government crackdowns.

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