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New Mistral AI Model, First Harbingers of the GWM, and the Threat to Coding — Top AI News of the Week

Our latest AI Digest covers the biggest breaking AI news for the week. Anywhere Club community leader, Aliaksei Kartynnik, comments on key stories.

Anywhere Club community leader, Aliaksei Kartynnik

#1 — New Model from Mistral AI and a $15 Million Investment from Microsoft

Mistral AI, a French company that developed its own LLM, unveiled Mistral Large, its new 32k token context window model with the ability to invoke functions. Available with a usage-based cost structure, it also appeared almost immediately in Microsoft Azure cloud, which surprised the AI community. Just a short time later, we learned that Microsoft had invested more than $15 million (US) in Mistral AI, giving it a minority stake in the company. Microsoft appears to be diversifying its investment in LLM developers and signaling that it doesn't wholly rely on OpenAI. Regulators in the U.K. and E.U. are reviewing the investment but you can try Mistral Large in Mistral’s own Le Chat service, which is already available for beta testing. Reviewers are weighing in on the model’s capabilities. The model did not surprise me and, in my subjective opinion, it performs below the level of the free GPT-3.5.

#2 — First Harbingers of the General World Model

At the end of 2023, in one of our AIA Podcasts, we discussed the concept of the General World Model proposed by Runway ML. The idea is that you won't need software or games. Instead, you can use an AI model that generates an image on your screen corresponding to the buttons that you press on your keyboard/mouse/joystick. To be effective, such a model needs to understand the environment it imitates and be capable of generating many frames per second. Until now, this seemed like a fairy tale or the distant future. On February 23, however, a scientific article appeared online called Genie: Generative Interactive Environments, in which researchers describe the implementation of ”a foundational world model,” creating their own Genie model. The researchers showed how they play a computer game in the style of old 16-bit games, but each subsequent frame in it is generated by the Genie model. If this work starts a new GWM trend, we may, in the future, see similar models replace parts of the software, film, and video game industries.

#3 — Is Coding Under Threat?

Recently, several major tech companies have expressed the opinion that programming will fundamentally change soon. In mid-2023, Nvidia's CEO suggested that traditional hand-coding will be replaced by AI systems in the coming years. And, last week, Swiss bank UBS suggested in its blog post that coding appears to be an outdated skill. Moving forward, it seems that more tech companies will focus on business automation through AI. What does this mean for us, as developers and tech workers?

First, programming will continue to exist and is unlikely to go anywhere. In the future, however, people who demonstrate systemic thinking and knowledge will be valued, while workers, who perform basic functions, may be replaced by GPT-10 (or its equivalent).

Second, I advise all tech specialists to get involved with AI tools and enhance their productivity by leveraging them. This will help you compete in the market, stay up to date on relevant trends, and respond effectively to tech and market changes.

Third, don't despair. If you're reading this post, it means that you're already among the small percentage of people who understand what is happening in the world of AI. This suggests that you are more competitive and adaptable. Keep up the good work, and you will be fine!

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