“AI agents” are already reshaping the internet

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The Future. Leveraging ChatGPT’s ability to talk with the API of a website, app, or software, researchers at Nvidia taught ChatGPT to play the game Minecraft without human intervention… paving the way for the chatbot to become a full-fledged “AI agent” and handle any number of online tasks. While there’s still a lot of development to be done, the AI agents will likely be able to automate the tasks of most white-collar jobs — putting office workers on a collision course with optimization.

Bot population
ChatGPT is taking on a life of its own.

  • The Nvidia team taught ChatGPT to “swim, gather plants, hunt pigs, mine gold, and build houses” within Minecraft.
  • This functionality turns chatbots into “a new kind of autonomous system called an AI agent,” per NYT, that can eventually be retrofitted into a personal assistant to handle any number of online tasks.
  • Some firms have already taught AI agents to schedule meetings and craft presentations (with graphs, bar charts, etc.) — typically the purview of entry-level office jobs.
  • And Microsoft VP Ashley Llorens said the company is working on projects that envision “A.I.s working with other A.I.s on your behalf.”

Jeff Clune, an OpenAI vet who’s now a computer science professor at the University of British Columbia, says these types of capabilities open up “a huge commercial opportunity, potentially trillions of dollars” — one that has “a huge upside — and huge consequences — for society.”

Just how huge? A recent survey of 800 executives and 800 employees found half of each group believes their skills will be obsolete in just two years. And SEC chair Gary Gensler believes AI will spark a financial crisis sometime in the next decade.

Essentially, the future is much closer than we think.


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