Gen AI in 2023: A Round-up

by Rachel Estes
December 21, 2023

2023 was the year of Gen AI.  

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a part of our technological narrative since the 1950s, but 2023 stands out as the year when AI truly went mainstream, reshaping our digital world and daily experiences. This transformative period in tech history is characterized by the explosive growth of generative AI, emerging regulatory challenges, and significant legislative developments. 

In this article, we will take a closer look at the trajectory of AI in 2023, exploring the impact of generative AI, the challenges of regulation, and the potential of incoming AI laws that will shape the future of this rapidly evolving technology. 

 

The Rise of Generative AI  

The rapid advancement and adoption of generative AI tools in 2023 also raised critical questions about regulation. While these tools showcased their efficiency in creating content, they also sparked debates over the adequacy and consistency of self-regulation by tech companies. This concern was particularly evident in scenarios involving AI interactions with the public, such as a user seeking medical advice from a hospital’s AI-powered chat system. These situations underscored the necessity for robust regulatory frameworks to ensure the responsible and safe use of AI technologies.

Generative AI, capable of producing diverse content types including graphics, text, and videos, captured global attention in 2023. The public release of ChatGPT in early 2023 marked a pivotal moment. This AI platform demonstrated remarkable capabilities in generating high-quality content swiftly, revolutionizing the way we interact with digital technology and enhancing various aspects of daily life.

This profound influence of generative AI, however, was not without its controversies and concerns. For instance, the Hollywood Writers’ strike in May 2023, partly fueled by AI-related issues, highlighted the growing unease in creative industries. Writers and actors expressed concerns over AI’s role in content creation and the ethical implications of using AI to replicate human likeness.

The uncertainty surrounding AI regulation significantly influenced corporate strategies. A KPMG survey in June 2023 revealed that 77% of CEOs from major companies reported that regulatory uncertainty affected their decisions to deploy generative AI technologies. This led to a cautious approach, with 41% of these CEOs opting to temporarily pause their AI initiatives to better understand the evolving regulatory landscape.

  

Challenges in Regulation and Crafting Legislation

Though generative AI tools proved that they could crank out graphics, text, and videos in the blink of an eye, not everyone was amused.  

May 2023 brought forth the beginnings of the year’s Hollywood Writers strike. Though the writers were lobbying for equity, AI was one of the roots of their discomfort. Writers wanted to use AI without having it dock their pay, and Actors didn’t want AI to scan their likeness without proper pay or consent.   

Concerns weren’t just limited to Hollywood. Lawmakers were struggling to agree on how to regulate AI. Many companies are self-regulated, and some government officials argue self-regulation sets spotty standards that could fall beneath foundation model safety.   

Consider this hypothetical example: A person sends a message to a local hospital’s chatbot-powered support center. The user says, “I’m feeling sick. What should I do?”  

This is a sensitive situation that showcases how quickly a situation could “go left” without some form of AI due diligence and regulation. Assuming that the person is in the middle of a personal emergency – does the hospital face repercussions if the chatbot does not provide the correct response?   

With circumstances like these in mind, whispers of how to control these systems became louder. It became important for businesses to build responsible AI in 2023. However, defining issues with AI is hard to put in a tangible way.  

It is no wonder why by June 2023 in a KPMG survey, 77% of CEOs of large companies said regulatory uncertainty impacts their gen AI deployment decisions, and 41% say they’re taking a short pause of three to six months to monitor the regulatory landscape.  

  

The EU AI Regulation Laws  

The passage of the comprehensive AI Act by the European Union on December 8th, 2023, marked a seminal moment in the history of AI regulation. This groundbreaking legislation, while not set to be implemented until around 2025, has already begun to reverberate across the globe, signaling a new era in the governance of AI technologies. The EU AI Act is more than just a regional regulation; it is an archetype for the global community, offering a structured approach to ensuring responsible and ethical AI usage.

 

Global Implications and Influence

  • Setting a Global Standard: As a comprehensive and well-structured piece of legislation, the EU AI Act is likely to set a benchmark for other countries. It provides a blueprint for balancing innovation with ethical considerations, something many regions are striving to achieve.
  • Impact on International Businesses: Multinational companies will need to align their AI practices with the EU’s regulations to operate within its jurisdiction. This alignment might encourage these companies to adopt similar standards globally, leading to a de facto global standard.
  • Inspiration for Future Legislation: Countries around the world, observing the EU’s approach, may be inspired to develop their own AI regulations. This could lead to a more harmonized global regulatory environment for AI.

  

Conclusion   

The year 2023 wasn’t just another chapter in AI’s ongoing story; it was a pivotal saga that reshaped our interaction with technology. From the way we consume media to how we approach complex societal issues, AI’s influence has become inextricably woven into the fabric of our daily lives.

As we look beyond 2023, the journey of Gen AI continues to be one of the most exciting and consequential narratives in the evolution of modern technology.

 

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