The speed of disruption caused by ChatGPT and similar artificial intelligence was on full display this week, knocking shares of education-technology company Chegg Inc., causing IBM to scale back hiring plans and prompting a ban at Samsung Electronics Co., which said it has fears about the technology's security.
Chegg shares plunged more than 40% in early trading on Tuesday after the company said that OpenAI's ChatGPT tool is threatening the growth of its homework-help services. The San Diego-based company makes most of its money from subscriptions and offers online guidance for test taking and essay-writing, tasks some students are already outsourcing to freely available ChatGPT tools.
International Business Machines Corp. Chief Executive Officer Arvind Krishna said in an interview on Monday that the company is going to stop or slow hiring for jobs it believes will be replaced by artificial intelligence. That amounts to about 30% of its 26,000 workers in non-customer facing roles over a 5-year period, he said.
The Writers Guild of America, which represents more than 11,500 Hollywood writers, included the regulation of AI among their demands as they started their first strike in 15 years on Tuesday. While the union doesn't oppose using AI as a tool, it says it should not share writing credits, or get a chunk of the residuals.
Generative AI "- software that can create text, images or videos based on prompts from a user "- is already showing the potential to dramatically reshape the world's economy. A Goldman Sachs Group Inc. report last month said that the technology could drive 7% growth in global GDP in the next decade and that nearly two-thirds of US jobs would be impacted "- some augmented, some replaced.
ChatGPT, which was introduced to the public less than six months ago, sparked a race among the world's biggest technology companies, including Alphabet Inc., Meta Platforms Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Still, the rush to expand the availability of AI has also increased fears of what the technology could be used for.
Samsung said this week it would ban employees from using so-called generative AI tools such as ChatGPT, according to a memo that was reviewed by Bloomberg News and confirmed by the company. The company is concerned that data sent to AI platforms can be storied on external servers, making it difficult to delete and putting it at risk of being disclosed to other users. Samsung joins a number of Wall Street banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc., which had also banned the technology.
Geoffrey Hinton, one of the pioneers of the "neural networks" that are the foundation of today's generative AI systems, said this week that he'd quit Google after a decade so that he could speak freely about what he sees as the dangers around its rapid rollout, according to an interview in the New York Times.
In March, more than 1,100 people in the AI industry signed a petition calling for a six-month break from training AI systems more powerful than the latest iteration behind ChatGPT in order to allow for the development of shared safety protocols. The signatories included Elon Musk, University of California Berkeley computer science professor Stuart Russell and Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak.
"It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things," Hinton, 75, said in the Times interview. He's concerned that fake photos, videos and text will flood the internet and the average person will "not be able to know what is true anymore."