Forward Future Episode 9

OpenAI Plugins for All, Altman Testifies, PrivateGPT, StableStudio, and more!

Another big week for AI news. Microsoft dominated the previous week, but OpenAI is back strong! The biggest news was Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, testified in front of the Senate in what could be seen as regulatory capture. Let’s review all the news!

Sam Altman Testifies

Last week's biggest news was Sam Altman testified in front of the Senate. There are a few ways to view his testimony, one of which is he is playing 4D chess with his competition and going for “regulatory capture.”

What is regulatory capture? Since OpenAI is in the lead regarding model capabilities and technology, the quicker and more severe the regulation of LLMs, the more it benefits OpenAI. If getting a license to train an LLM takes significant time and resources, it’ll be much more difficult for new companies to compete. This is bad for innovation and bad for Artificial Intelligence.

Additionally, since local models continue to get better rapidly, and technology to train smaller models that are comparable in quality to centralized models develops, the notion of being able to regulate these models becomes untenable. Especially when you factor in that any country can train models and only one is accountable to US law, it becomes evident that regulation might not be the best tool for this job.

This is the first time in history that a Silicon Valley company has raised its hand and said “Please regulate me.” This doesn’t happen. Usually, Silicon Valley is the home of permissionless innovation. Usually, founders and engineers abhor regulation as it slows down innovation.

Of course, Sam Altman has made it clear he indeed does have some fears about AGI. So from that context, I’m sure at least part of his intention is genuine. At the same time, OpenAI benefits significantly from getting ahead of the Senate and playing up its fear while it is improbable that regulation will come soon. So for now, Sam Altman has avoided the hot seat.

OpenAI Plugins For All

One fantastic announcement from last week is that ChatGPT Plugins are rolling out for all paying users. ChatGPT Plus is $20/mo and with it, you get access to GPT4, alpha, and beta access to new models, and now all users will have access to Plugins.

Plugins allow you to add functionality from 3rd party developers directly into ChatGPT. If ChatGPT is the iPhone, think of Plugins like the App Store.

PrivateGPT is the #1 Trending Github Repo

PrivateGPT rose quickly to become the #1 trending Github repo. PrivateGPT allows you to “chat with your documents” entirely locally and privately, hence the name.

What does it mean to “chat with your documents?” It means you can now ingest any PDF, TXT, or CSV file into a local LLM and ask questions about it, summarize it, and do anything else you can do with a local model.

Being entirely local and private is especially important for businesses weary of sending ChatGPT their sensitive data. Just last week, Apple joined a growing list of companies that are banning use of ChatGPT internally for fear of private internal company information getting out.

Here’s an example of what you can do after loading the State of the Union address:


StableStudio is Released

StabilityAI continues its incredible cadence of new releases with the launch of StableStudio, a local and open-source version of DreamStudio, their MidJourney competitor.

Right now, you still need to sign up for a StabilityAI account and use their API token, which does cost money after an initial set of free credits. However, since it’s open-source now, developers can build on top of it, offering the “backend” of computing power for free or at a competitive rate.

They are also allowing for “plugins” similar to ChatGPT, which will be able to add functionality to the base product of StableStudio.

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