ChatGPT took people by surprise – here are four technologies that could make a difference next

Article by Fabian Stephany and Johann Laux: “…There are some AI technologies waiting on the sidelines right now that hold promise. The four we think are waiting in the wings are next-level GPT, humanoid robots, AI lawyers, and AI-driven science. Our choices appear ready from a technological point of view, but whether they satisfy all three of the criteria we’ve mentioned is another matter. We chose these four because they were the ones that kept coming up in our investigations into progress in AI technologies.

1. AI legal help

The startup company DoNotPay claims to have built a legal chatbot – built on LLM technology – that can advise defendants in court.

The company recently said it would let its AI system help two defendants fight speeding tickets in real-time. Connected via an earpiece, the AI can listen to proceedings and whisper legal arguments into the ear of the defendant, who then repeats them out loud to the judge.

After criticism and a lawsuit for practising law without a license, the startup postponed the AI’s courtroom debut. The potential for the technology will thus not be decided by technological or economic constraints, but by the authority of the legal system.

Lawyers are well-paid professionals and the costs of litigation are high, so the economic potential for automation is huge. However, the US legal system currently seems to oppose robots representing humans in court.

2. AI scientific support

Scientists are increasingly turning to AI for insights. Machine learning, where an AI system improves at what it does over time, is being employed to identify patterns in data. This enables the systems to propose novel scientific hypotheses – proposed explanations for phenomena in nature. These may even be capable of surpassing human assumptions and biases.

For example, researchers at the University of Liverpool used a machine learning system called a neural network to rank chemical combinations for battery materials, guiding their experiments and saving time.

The complexity of neural networks means that there are gaps in our understanding of how they actually make decisions – the so-called black box problem. Nevertheless, there are techniques that can shed light on the logic behind their answers and this can lead to unexpected discoveries.

While AI cannot currently formulate hypotheses independently, it can inspire scientists to approach problems from new perspectives…(More)”.