In some ways, the fervor around AI is reminiscent of blockchain hype, which has steadily cooled since its 2021 peak. In almost all cases, blockchain technology serves no purpose but to make software slower, more difficult to fix, and a bigger target for scammers. AI isn’t nearly as frivolous—it has several novel use cases—but many are rightly wary of the resemblance. And there are concerns to be had; AI bears the deceptive appearance of a free lunch and, predictably, has non-obvious downsides that some founders and VCs will insist on learning the hard way.
This is a good level-headed overview of how generative language model tools work.
If something can be reduced to patterns, however elaborate they may be, AI can probably mimic it. That’s what AI does. That’s the whole story.
There’s very practical advice on deciding where and when these tools make sense:
The sweet spot for AI is a context where its choices are limited, transparent, and safe. We should be giving it an API, not an output box.