The Most Important Chart In 100 Years

The “vertical” adoption of ChatGPT reflects a magical, yet precarious journey for AI.

JOHN NOSTA
4 min readFeb 16, 2023

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GPT Summary: The vertical adoption of ChatGPT signifies an astounding yet precarious milestone for AI. This revolutionary technology has the potential to transform industries and improve natural language processing capabilities. With its widespread engagement, GPT represents a “consumer-centric” magic, making it accessible and user-friendly. However, issues like computational errors and biases can sometimes break the magic, revealing the illusion behind the technology. Although the vertical growth trajectory is unsustainable, GPT remains one of the most significant technological advancements in the last century, capable of revolutionizing human interaction and information consumption.

The term of the decade is “exponential growth.” But the chart of the century takes a very different path. The journey, a bit more like one of SpaceX rockets, is vertical. Yep, just about straight up. And when compared (yes, not an ideal comparative set) with other growth paths, the difference is dramatic. The path is both amazing and unsustainable. But the trajectory is reflective of a fundamental change for technology and humanity.

Over the last weeks, we’ve seen tremendous growth and adoption of the Generative Pretrained Transformer (GPT) model, developed by OpenAI. GPT is a language model that uses deep learning to generate human-like text, making it a significant technological development that has the potential to revolutionize the way we communicate and consume information—perhaps, one of the most important technological developments in the last 100 years.

GPT is a machine learning model that uses a deep neural network to learn the patterns and structures of human language. It’s trained on massive amounts of text data, such as books, articles, and websites, which allows it to generate natural-sounding text that’s similar to what a human might write. GPT has been trained on an enormous corpus of data, and the most recent versions contain up to 175 billion parameters, making it the largest and most complex language model ever built.

One of the primary reasons why GPT is such an important technological development is its potential to transform the way we interact with and consume information. With the help of GPT, machines can now generate text that’s virtually indistinguishable (yes, a point of debate) from what a human might write, opening up a whole new world of possibilities. This technology has the potential to revolutionize industries from journalism to medicine.

But why the vertical trajectory?

GPT’s growth and adoption have also been driven by its ability to improve natural language processing (NLP) capabilities. NLP is the field of study that focuses on the interaction between humans and computers using natural language. GPT has been a game-changer for NLP because it can learn the context and nuances of language, making it better at tasks like language translation, text summarization, and sentiment analysis. With GPT, we’ve made significant progress towards creating machines that can understand and process language in a way that’s similar to humans, which has the potential to enhance communication and collaboration across borders and cultures.

But there’s an interesting duality here that reflects both technology and humanity.

The first is the profound technological advantages that GPT offer. Of course, for many this remains in a “black box” much like other tech advances from the flat screen TV to our smart phone. The intricacies of technology are hidden and what’s left is the second key point of transformation: magic. GPT is today’s “consumer-centric” magic and that’s what is driving engagement. This magic arrives at your fingertips in ways—unlike the magic of CRISPR or gene editing)—in a convenient and friendly ways.

Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law states that once technology becomes sufficiently advanced, it becomes indistinguishable from magic. This means that when a technology reaches a certain level of complexity and sophistication, it can appear so advanced that it becomes difficult for people to understand how it works or to differentiate it from something that is seemingly supernatural. In many ways, this is GPT.

But the magic of GPT is a precarious situation.

The rapid adoption of GPT has revealed that sometimes, the magic becomes broken. And the resulting reality is compromised due to a variety of issues from computational errors to intrinsic biases. And when this happens—real or imagined—the illusion is shattered. The audience realizes that what they thought was impossible was actually just a carefully crafted deception. The sense of wonder and amazement disappears, and the magic is gone. And what’s left is a trajectory that follows the very same initial path, but in the opposite direction.

It’s been said that nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising.

It’s fair to say that the meteoric growth of GPT has set a new standard for engagement and adoption. But so far, the distance on the x-axis is very short and a pure vertical path is both illogical and unsustainable. So, the inventible will happen and the higher climb, the harder the fall. As the psychology of adoption plays role in the GPT story, it will also play a role is defining the changes over time. From dystopian fears to overly optimistic entrepreneurs, the evolution of artificial intelligence will play out in the laboratories, businesses and the minds of you and me.

Nevertheless, the tremendous growth and adoption of GPT is one of the most important technological developments in the last 100 years. Its potential to revolutionize the way we interact with and consume information, enhance NLP capabilities, and advance scientific research is unparalleled. While there are still challenges to overcome, there’s no denying that GPT is technology’s new inflection point and the sky’s the limit.

An acknowledgment to Kyle Hailey who, with the help of GPT, crafted this chart.

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JOHN NOSTA

I’m a technology theorist driving innovation at humanity’s tipping point.