Ian Mulvany

January 10, 2024

Here are a couple of useful reads to kick off 2024 with GenAI.

Ethan Mollick remains a key writer, giving perspective on what to expect in 2024: https://www.oneusefulthing.org/p/signs-and-portents

  • GenAI is already positively impacting work, with significant productivity gains (improvements of tens of percentage points).
  • Interestingly, many companies are either ignoring it or trying to use it as a knowledge tool.
  • A unique approach that Ethan talks about is where before a company hires any replacements - “Before a new hire is approved, the team has to spend a couple of hours trying to automate the potential job using AI. They can only post new openings after they see how much AI can supplement or replace the need for a new employee.”
  • Notably, there has been a significant decrease in the posting of freelance jobs on freelance job sites.
  • We now live in an AI-dominated world.

Though not stated by Ethan, my observation is that this technology is now available at scale. The way individuals are utilizing it is outstripping the comfort level of most organizations.

Simon Willison posted great insights on what we learned about AI in 2023: https://simonwillison.net/2023/Dec/31/ai-in-2023/

  • They are easy to build. What matters most is the data.
  • The costs of building have come down by about an order of magnitude from the start of the year (from millions of dollars to a few tens of thousands of dollars).
  • Fine-tuning a model is now very easy to do. This leaderboard is a good place to look https://huggingface.co/spaces/HuggingFaceH4/open_llm_leaderboard.
  • Understanding developments with these models remains elusive.
  • Coaxing the LLM remains a key aspect … “There are so many more examples like this. Offer it cash tips for better answers. Tell it your career depends on it. Give it positive reinforcement. It’s all so dumb, but it works!”

About Ian Mulvany

Hi, I'm Ian - I work on academic publishing systems. You can find out more about me at mulvany.net. I'm always interested in engaging with folk on these topics, if you have made your way here don't hesitate to reach out if there is anything you want to share, discuss, or ask for help with!