Five years ago, I decided to dedicate a major part of my career to teaching underserved students about artificial intelligence, with the goal of making knowledge of AI accessible to as many students as possible.
While delivering “AI 101” workshops to high schoolers in NYC during lunch breaks from work, I was able to observe their visceral and honest reactions to the technology.
That said, a major challenge I experienced during those workshops was illustrating to students how transformative AI applications could be.
This generation of students grew up with the iPhone, and telling them that Siri was an AI-powered voice assistant, frankly, wasn't impressive.
“Siri is AI? But Siri sucks!”
Fast forward to today, and the entire world shared a collective eureka moment regarding the power of AI after using tools like ChatGPT.
Sure, pre-trained large language models (i.e., what ChatGPT is) have existed for a long time, but this was the first time people could experience their capabilities in an accessible and illustrative way.
“Holy cow — this feels like magic!”
And it's not just high school students who are blown away.
Over the past few weeks, I've had 1-on-1 discussions with leaders shaping the future of AI, including Mark Cuban, Thomas Wolf (Cofounder, Hugging Face), and Cristóbal Valenzuela (CEO, Runway).
The sentiment is universal: no one expected things to progress so quickly!
This breakthrough in AI feels very different from others we've made in prior decades. It's the biggest jump in the generality of AI models, enabling us to do things with AI that we thought were unimaginable (or at least a couple of decades away).
A few years ago, most AI models required training AI models to accomplish specific tasks.
Now, not only can we enjoy apps like ChatGPT as consumers, but we can also have AI accomplish tasks for us just by telling them what to do in our own words, without any training!
Use cases that carry the air of science-fiction are brought to life, including:
The societal impact of foundational models like GPT-3 cannot be overstated.
They fundamentally change everything.
The idea that you can complete your schooling based on rote memorization, get a job, and become successful is an idea of the past.
What happens in a world where someone can build powerful software by telling a program what to do in natural (i.e., colloquial) language? Or where you can write SQL queries by typing out exactly how you'd like the data to transform?
The skills we'll be valued for are changing faster than ever.
Although we've been taught that the importance of execution outweighs ideas, the ubiquity of these tools and their enablement of accomplishing difficult and time-consuming tasks will put a premium on original, quality ideas.
Equipped with these tools, the average person will 10x their output, while high performers will become 100x more powerful.
As Amjad Masad, CEO of Replit said, this is the equivalent of each person commanding an army of AI assistants, enabling entirely new kinds of work & creativity.
Today, I'm excited to introduce Igniter.
Initially, with AI For Anyone, I set out to make AI knowledge accessible to all.
Now, I hope Igniter makes the power of AI accessible to all.
We see a future with a gamut of tools and resources to solve highly scoped problems. And at the same time, we're seeing the emergence of a proliferation of last-mile AI services with specific use cases.
That's why we are now focusing on providing a new-age solution to finding the right tools and resources to succeed in an increasingly AI-driven world.
This starts with the release of an AI product marketplace. We believe we're uniquely positioned to create the default marketplace for AI tools and resources.
In 1990, Tony Ulwick invented an influential theory based on the notion that people buy products and services to get a “job” done.
This idea will only become more and more relevant in the coming years, and the way we search for products and services will have to adapt. AI not only helps you get the job done, but it also helps you get it done quickly.
Igniter and Not A Bot will not only help you understand AI better, but it will enable you to thrive.