How fast is AI actually moving?

How Fast Is AI Actually Moving?

Apr 08, 2024


Read time: 4 minutes


The AI Revolution

"AI will do 95% of what marketers use agencies, strategists, and creative professionals for today." 

Sam Altman



That’s a great headline and a bold quote. Whether you believe this or not, one thing most people agree on is that AI is going to dramatically change the way work, life and society operate. 


The Internet Part Two

The AI explosion feels like a similar wave to the one when the digital revolution started. Back then we couldn’t predict where things were going, with possibly the exception of David Bowie in that brilliant Paxman Newsnight interview in 1999, there was a mix of excitement and scepticism. 

If you’re as old as I am you probably remember people saying things such as…

”email is too slow”

“nobody will put their card details into a website”

“people don’t want to shop online”

And the classic “social media is a fad and you shouldn’t be on there as a company”

We have similar excitement and scepticism today with AI, only this time it’s around privacy, brand reputation, accuracy, risks to business and more.

But, standing on the side lines is not really an option. If you knew the impact the digital revolution would have on businesses when it started you wouldn’t have embarked on your digital strategy with the single goal of building a website.

You would have set a longer-term vision around education, learning and upskilling teams so that they could be the catalyst to make the right decisions on where digital technology will give you the biggest benefit over a ten or twenty-year period. 

With this historical backdrop in mind, let's explore how AI is evolving today. 


Current State of AI

You only have to look at the progress made across some of the biggest AI platforms in the last 18 months to understand this.

The pace of change is rapid.

And yes, that’s an overused phrase in the world of technology. Everything is always supposedly moving at breakneck pace but in reality most of the forward momentum is small incremental changes that are far less noticeable. 

So yes I hear your groans.

But you’re wrong. 

Let me show you.

Below is an image showing progress on one of the leading image platforms, Midjourney. Version 1 was released in February 2022 and was not very good at producing images.

Fast forward to early 2024 and we have an image which you would not be able to distinguish against a real photograph. 



AI Video

Or what about AI videos? The improvement over the last year is something else. 12 months ago we had comedic versions of Will Smith eating Spaghetti. Now we have SORA from Open AI - it’s that good we’re expecting new film category awards just for AI, updated regulations on deep fakes and a swathe of not-very-good video content taking over the Internet. It’s coming to the wider public later this year.



ChatGPT Progression

Across a similar timeframe GPT-3.5, which powers the free version of ChatGPT, only scored in the 10th percentile of the bar exam; however, GPT-4 scored in the 90th percentile of the bar exam.

So yes, things are moving quite fast. 

Understanding today's AI landscape sets the stage for its future trajectory.


Future Implications

Will this momentum continue? Who knows. There are some big questions...will the sources of training data for these models runs out? What will happen legally around data ownership and whether these AI companies had the rights to use the data they did to train their models?

If you want to spend a minute cringing then watch this clip from an interview with the SORA CTO when she asked about what data was used to train the model?


All of these will play out over the coming months and years.

But, back to the point. AI is here and it’s going to stay. It’s not quite at a place where, for most people or businesses, they can just drop it in and away they go. There are levels and a few things needed. 

The Steps to AI Success


Foundations - Getting these right is the starting point. Having good foundations means you can build faster in future. Leadership alignment, the beginnings of a clear vision and an AI policy are a good start.

After that there's a few things that really make a big difference:


1. A Thoughtful Strategic Approach

To get the most out of AI, and to ensure you reduce inefficiencies and risk, put together a well-thought-out strategy. This will set you off in the right direction, working on the right areas. A good platform to build from. Generally, that’s answering the question “where are the high-impact, lower complexity, opportunities?”

2. The Right Mindset

This is certainly an area that teams can adopt quickly and deliver improvements with the right mindset, processes and approach. The best way to think of AI right now is similar to a new team member, or writing partner, or creative partner. It’s not there to do all the work for you but in the right areas can help you deliver more.

3. Harnessing Proprietary Data 

The big opportunity for companies is now being able to harness their own data, especially where that’s proprietary or not available to anyone else. We will see companies building new operating models, processes, products, and customer experiences that are extremely hard to replicate by their competitors because they have been built using a combination of their own data and AI.



There's Only Two Types of Companies

Just as we underestimated the digital revolution, we stand at a similar juncture with AI, set for big change. How we then use this technology alongside us humans, and how we get the balance right, is one of the big questions we all have a responsibility to answer. 

In a recent interview on CNBC US Entrepreneur Mark Cuban said "There's only two types of companies in this world - those who are great at AI and everybody else."

Another bold statement. 

The one thing we believe is that if you take a thoughtful, strategic approach to AI you give yourself a great chance at succeeding.




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