Businessweek, Fortune & NY Times Validates 2 of Our Predictions for 2023


As part of our annual set of predictions, published here, we said that ChatGPT would be a hit, and generate a lot of coverage.

Bloomberg Businessweek has validated that with an article entitled, “ChatGPT Is Hungry For the Cloud,” which goes beyond just hyping the trend because it looks at the implications of “the computing power needed for modern AI…shaping its technical development and business model.”

Here’s the New York Times’ take: “How ChatGPT Kicked Off an A.I. Arms Race Even inside the company, the chatbot’s popularity has come as something of a shock.” Fortune devoted its editor’s column in the Feb./March issue: “ChatGPT shows that the A.I. revolution has arrived. We’re not ready” and two feature articles: “The inside story of ChatGPT: How OpenAI founder Sam Altman built the world’s hottest technology with billions from Microsoft” and “Meet 7 startups and labs that are capitalizing on the kind of ‘generative’ A.I. that powers ChatGPT.”

Here’s how Fortune framed ChatGPT:

A few times in a generation, a product comes along that catapults a technology from the fluorescent gloom of engineering department basements…into something that your grat-aunt Edna knows how to use…There have been chatbots before. But not like this.”

In fact, we’re upping our prediction to say that chatbot — a term most of us did not use in most of 2022, could be the word of the year in 2023.

Meanwhile, we also said that Congress would look at banning TikTok, and Bloomberg Businessweek sees that possibility, too. But in an opinion article, Bloomberg wrote, “Don’t Ban TikTok. Use It as a Bargaining Chip.”

Actually, that was the print headline. Here’s the online version: “Banning TikTok Won’t Do Much Good Although satisfying — and justified — a ban on the video-sharing app would amount to a missed opportunity for the US.” We cited both versions of the headline because it can be illuminating to see the differences between print and online headlines — but that’s a topic for a different blog post.

Either way, Bloomberg’s editors are clear: “Banning it (TikTok) outright — as Congress is contemplating — is a bad idea.

We agree with Bloomberg but, given an increasingly complicated relationship with China, we’re not confident that Congress won’t try to ban TikTok.

We also predicted that Congress will try to revise Section 230, which addresses how social media companies moderate user-generated content.  After seeing some initial Congressional hearings about Twitter, we feel Section 230 won’t survive in its current form. (As a reminder, we said that content moderation is something that upsets people on either side of the aisle. But we also don’t have confidence that the current Congress could develop a meaningful, workable solution.)


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