Why Generative AI is a useful fad but not at all intelligent…

Nick Ayton
15 min readAug 5, 2023

A quick guide to what Generative AI is and isn’t.

When I talk to people that have discovered and started using #ChatGPT and other tools, you would think they’ve found the elixir of eternal life. They say, ‘Nick why are you not excited, you don’t get it, this changes everything!’ You can imagine my answer.

There is a lot of general misunderstanding about #GenerativeAI and #AI #artificialintelligence in general, what it is, how it works and the pitfalls and issues, and so this article may help lay out the landscape, describe the underlying tech, what it is and is not, the structures, backends and the platforms.

There are now dozens of Generative AI systems, platforms, tools, products from US and many forget from China, huge companies not mentioned much. And yes I wrote this article on my own using my own creativity, grammar mistakes, oddities of my own style.

Why?

Because if you ask an AI to write an article IT IS NOT YOURS…

Although proving ownership in some ways will be almost impossible, the point is made. The generating part uses data and source material not identified or known — ‘caveat venditor’.

Last week I spoke at a Generative AI conference/meet up at a large law firm on London’s Bishopsgate, attended by a healthy bunch of AI enthusiasts, investors, geeks and AI users. All seeking further insight into what has become the phenomenon - GenerativeAI, which is principally a Large Language Model (LLM), as preceptors such as ChatGPT. The GPT bit stands for Generative Pre-Trained Transformer. The wider label — Generative AI. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ChatGPT.

One has to remember Generative AI isn’t real AI, it is human controlled, led and biased. The humans behind it are the gatekeepers, holder of the official keys, confirm the provenance or not of the data, they control the output. ‘Output’, the provenance isn’t know, trusted, fact checked let alone permissioned. Yet this trend remains popular because it's a new and exciting, a new toy, and does some cool stuff.

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Nick Ayton

Nick Ayton is General Partners Multi Family Office, Futurist, Film Maker