AI Embedded in Search will Hurt Contentmakers
Here’s one thing about ChatGPT and these AI chatbots. They learned all they know from the internet, scraping articles from one food blog here, and one content website there. Once ChatGPT returns results directly from these content sites the content sites will no longer receive money from ads on their sites or through purchases of their product (or at least that will be diminished).
The release of ChatGPT into Bing and LaMDA into Google may result in the “dumbing down” of the internet as we know it, and could very well make one opinion or one popular version of the truth the only version that get’s put out there.
When you Google something, the PageRank system does something similar. However, you still get pages and pages of options for you to browse. You can use additional words, exclusion rules, and date ranges to filter data. You get a buffet of websites managed by different people, just like you get many books about the same topic in a library. The future likes it may be replaced with you getting your information from a single source, that in itself should be scary to people.
Who does this benefit? It actually, in my opinion, benefits online forums and places like Nextdoor and Facebook. People may opt to ask questions of their friends, neighbors in favor of AI generated mass plagiarism. Since the AI has been feed at least 45 terabytes of text, I’m not saying it’s going to become dumb overnight – it will take months and probably years of it being in production. Over time the revenue streams of small to medium to large websites will decay as AI envelops new areas. For example, Kelly Blue Book data will become obsolete as Bing and Google format the data for these types of websites in such a way that you no longer have to click into the website.
Some may push back. Big websites as the Wall Street Journal and CNN have already added paywalls to counter news aggregators. However, the vast majority of people will not feel the need to pay for subscriptions to websites, and those companies that block their content will just become irrelevant.
Another area that probably will benefit from this are the people who think outside the box, meaning the creative ones that will be able to put together knowledge in ways other people will rely on AI to take care of in the future. Critical thinkers may be able to anticipate macroeconomic trends beyond what they are spoon fed by Cramer, Charles Schwab, etc.
On the flipside, I also see AI benefiting those who don’t know what they’re doing at all. However I only see this benefit as temporary and unlikely to be sustainable – they will be susceptible to conditions that aren’t expected or normal, and depending on the way they rely on AI they may not be able to react correctly. Instead of using problem solving and situational awareness, those reliant on AI should be expected to follow a pattern established by the AI based on the most popular content.
Now this category takes a darker turn. The truthmakers are those who run these AI programs and can tweak them to meet their needs. If you try to search sensitive subjects in ChatGPT now you typically will get a “I can’t respond to this kind of question” type response. Alternatively, you will get the most politically correct response based on the coders discretion.
Here’s an example of a response that was really carefully put together. As you can see, there is no mention of what folks on the right side of the aisle would say about the subject. There is the part about the need to proper them safely – something no one would argue over.
Now I asked this question twice with small variation and got two different answers. However both were prefaced with the sort of blanket disclaimer that you’ll see on most answers that are subjective. This sort of weak response is typical even for as benign topics as food.
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