As part of our initial set of predictions for 2024 (available here), we said that EVs (electric vehicles) “may not be ready for primetime” and cited concerns about range and lack of charging stations — and Bloomberg Businessweek agreed. In an article entitled “Americans are rethinking EVs,” reporter Keith Naughton cited high sticker prices and steep financing rates (neither of which we cited), and “range anxiety” as causes for declining sale rates for battery-powered models though hybrids are doing better. The article quotes a car dealer who picked up on a key issue we did cite: “We have to have a more reliable charging network. People to have to have confidence that they can get their kids to the doctor’s appointment, that they can get to work on time and that they can use this vehicle for vacations.”
We like the term “range anxiety” to describe an important concern that we discussed in the original prediction.
In another article from the same Bloomberg Businessweek issue, an article validated our prediction that we’d see a lot of media coverage about hallucinations caused by generative AI. In “The Surprising Upside to AI Hallucinations,” reporter Austin Carr notes that ChatGPT and other generative AI sites “still tend to mix fabricated ‘facts’ into answers to user queries, as when Google’s Bard responded to a question about inflation on a 60 Minutes segment by citing nonexistent economic books, complete with fake summaries.”
Carr notes that some companies are fine-tuning other companies’ generative AI solutions while a company called Galileo introduced a Hallucination Index.
In his article, Carr suggests that that hallucinations can spur additional creativity.
Our prediction didn’t go that far. We just said that the industry has to come to terms with AI-induced hallucinations, and in other articles in our blog, we’ve urged people who use generative AI to review and fact check any content produced by generative AI because it can be embarrassing or worse if someone else discovers fake citations, etc. in something you’ve produced. (This is the point in which we remind our readers that while we are interested in the impact of generative AI, this article was produced the old-fashioned way: by a human on a computer.)
We expect to see more articles about an EVs backlash (meaning a slowdown compared to prior years’ sales) and hallucinations.