Futurist Kevin Kelly says ‘there are no A.I. experts today’ and it’s a great time to enter the field
Kevin Kelly believes this is a good time to enter the field of artificial intelligence—but not because of the hype over ChatGPT, the A.I. Chatbot gained more than 100 million monthly active users In just over 60 minutes after its November launch, it was up and running.
Instead, Kelly—a futurist, author, and the founding executive editor of Wired magazine—thinks that from the perspective of several decades hence, there are no A.I. Experts today. This means that anyone who wants to enter the field in the near future or now will have plenty of time for success.
“What we tend to call A.I., will not be considered A.I. years from now,” Kelly said in an interview shared this week Noahpinion is a Substack blog by Noah Smith, economics commentator. “One useful corollary of this is that from the perspective of looking back 30 years hence, there are no A.I. Experts today. This is good news for anyone starting out right now, because you have as much chance as anyone else of making breakthroughs and becoming the reigning experts.”
Today, millions of people are starting to use “generative A.I.” tools such as ChatGPT and Dall-E 2, which can produce remarkable results from simple text prompts. While the latter can produce complex images, the former can be concise. answer questions, pen essays in a particular writer’s style, or generate computer code in various programming languages, among other tasks.
This first round of “primitive A.I. agents” are “best thought of as universal interns,” Kelly said. They are used to create rough drafts, propose code, summarize research and brainstorm.
Even so, getting high-quality results from them isn’t necessarily easy.
“It takes an extremely close intimacy to get your intern A.I. to help you produce great work,” Kelly said. “Some people are 10x and 100x better than others with these tools. They are now A.I. whisperers.”
A.I. can be started by using prompt engineers. is as a “prompt engineer.” (The Washington Post Recent profiled one.) These individuals devise prompts—or chains of prompts—to get A.I. system to achieve the desired result in a variety of industries and purposes.
It’s hardly an established field. One startup advertising for a prompt engineerAnthropic, noted on its job listing: “Given that the field of prompt-engineering is arguably less than 2 years old, this position is a bit hard to hire for.” The salary range is $175,000 to $335,000.
ChatGPT competitor Claude is also in the company. lured a $300 million investment Starting at Google, asked applicants to demonstrate their skills by “spending some time experimenting with Claude…and showing that you’ve managed to get complex behaviors from a series of well crafted prompts.”
The company described large language models—on which A.I. chatbots like ChatGPT and Claude are based—as “a new type of intelligence” and said “the art of instructing them in a way that delivers the best results is still in its infancy.”
Artificial intelligence overall is in its infancy—deeply so, Kelly believes.
“The long-term effects of A.I. will affect our society to a greater degree than electricity and fire,” he says, “but its full effects will take centuries to play out.”
This story was first published on Fortune.com
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