Let me start by apologizing for being a baseball fan. Although AI may indeed become, or may have already become, the American pastime.
To understand AI and its potential, “dive in and play with it”. You can’t break it. You can learn from it. And you can have fun with it.
First, some cautions. It’s early days. There will be some silly, funny, even absurd results, such as “hallucination”, a confident response that doesn’t seem to be justified by its training data. Remember the timeworn term: GIGO: Garbage In, Garbage Out. There will be some of that. Remember that the Wright Brothers’ first flight wasn’t transcontinental.
Let me suggest two glossaries that I’ve found to be helpful:
But rather than trying to learn about how to ride a bicycle by reading about it, I suggest trying to ride the bicycle. Trust me. You can’t fall out an injure yourself. Sign up for an AI account. There are both free and paid versions:
- Open AI https://chat.openai.com/auth/login
- Google Bard https://support.google.com/bard/answer/13278668?hl=en
Remember that AI is both smarter than you are and dumber than you are. By that I mean, it can summarize a lengthy article very quickly—but you can’t be entirely sure of the accuracy. So, while you can use AI to get a sense of what the article is about, I wouldn’t suggest publishing that summary as the “gospel version” until you had reviewed it.
Now, let’s have some fun with The New Yorker’s July 24, 2023, review of Mission Impossible-Dead Reckoning Part One.
Let’s copy the article which, according to Word’s statistics is five pages, fifteen paragraphs and 1747 words long. First, let’s ask OpenAI to summarize the review in three sentences, which took seven seconds:
“Mission: Impossible—Dead Reckoning Part One,” directed by Christopher McQuarrie, launches a new chapter in the series, centering on a powerful AI known as the Entity. Ethan Hunt, played by Tom Cruise, assembles his usual team to prevent the Entity from falling into evil hands. Despite criticisms of being overly lengthy and talkative, the movie provides extravagant action scenes and introduces a new character, Grace (played by Hayley Atwell), whose criminal innocence and common sense brings a fresh dynamic to the franchise.
Now, let’s give it a bit more freedom to summarize the review in two paragraphs:
It took OpenAI nine seconds to produce this summary:
“Mission: Impossible—Dead Reckoning Part One” brings a new chapter in the long-running franchise, as Ethan Hunt, played by Tom Cruise, and his team grapple with a powerful AI known as the Entity. The film, directed by Christopher McQuarrie, maintains the high-octane action sequences the series is known for, albeit with some criticism for its extended length and wordiness.
The movie introduces a new character, Grace, portrayed by Hayley Atwell, a light-fingered thief who inadvertently gets involved in the mission. Her character’s innocence and practicality offer a refreshing counterbalance to the seasoned operatives. Although some critics feel the plot is overburdened with dialogue and unnecessary complexities, the film’s high-stakes action scenes and fresh dynamics make it an enticing addition to the franchise.
More information in about the same amount of time. And finally, at modest risk of some sacrilege, I asked OpenAI to summarize the first six pages of Warren Buffett’s 2023 Letter to Shareholders:
The letter to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway from its managers Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger acknowledges the dedication of its individual holders, the majority of whom continue to be savers, and who frequently give their funds to philanthropy. The letter discusses how Berkshire Hathaway uses these savings in two ways: by controlling and investing in entire businesses, where they manage capital allocation and select the CEOs, and by investing in publicly-traded stocks, where they own a portion of various businesses. Buffett states that the aim is not to pick stocks, but to pick businesses based on their long-term performance potential.
Despite past mistakes, Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio comprises businesses with extraordinary economics, good economic characteristics, and some that are marginal. The market volatility often allows them to buy excellent businesses at advantageous prices.
Buffett provides a self-assessment, admitting that many of his capital-allocation decisions have been mediocre, with a few truly good decisions contributing to their satisfactory results. He cites the example of long-term investments like Coca-Cola and American Express, both bought in the mid-1990s, which have grown significantly in terms of dividends and stock prices.
For 2022, Berkshire had a record-setting year, with operating earnings (excluding capital gains or losses from equity holdings) reaching $30.8 billion. Berkshire also acquired property-casualty insurer Alleghany Corporation, which helped increase their insurance float from $147 billion to $164 billion. They also repurchased 1.2% of the company’s outstanding shares, indirectly increasing the interest of shareholders in the business.
The letter closes with a promise to treat shareholders’ money with the same care and responsibility as they would their own.
Now go off and have some fun on your own.