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By Kevin O'Keefe, LexBlog CEO & Founder

AI Could End Some Online Businesses, But It’s a Boon to Those Who Figure Out How to Work With It

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A.I. could upend many online businesses.

But for companies that figure out how to work with it, A.I. could be a boon.

This from Tripp Mickle, Cade Metz and Nico Grant reporting for The New York Times this morning.

They’re spot on, AI isn’t something you sit back on as a CEO and schedule it into the existing product and development schedule.

When I started playing with OpenAI’s ChatGPT in the middle of January it was an immediate feeling of this is amazing, this is going to impact my company in a big way – potentially in a negative way, and we need to act now to figure out how to leverage GPT in a way that serves our publishing lawyers and organizations.

The Times’ article summarized it well.

When Aaron Levie the chief executive of Box, tried a new A.I. chatbot called ChatGPT in early December, it didn’t take him long to declare, “We need people on this!”

He cleared his calendar and asked employees to figure out how the technology, which instantly provides comprehensive answers to complex questions, could benefit Box, a cloud computing company that sells services that help businesses manage their online data.

Mr. Levie’s reaction to ChatGPT was typical of the anxiety — and excitement — over Silicon Valley’s new new thing. Chatbots have ignited a scramble to determine whether their technology could upend the economics of the internet, turn today’s powerhouses into has-beens or create the industry’s next giants.

Not since the iPhone has the belief that a new technology could change the industry run so deep.”

As internal discussions at LexBlog ensued, we reached a pretty fast consensus (I was sold on day one) that GPT was for real and that publishing could be made easier, more effective and more enjoyable with it.

But we were like a lot of companies.

Per The Times,

The result is an industry gripped with the question: What do we do now?

“Everybody is agitated,” said Erik Brynjolfsson, an economist at Stanford’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence. “There’s a lot of value to be won or lost.”

Agitated is something I felt, but maybe in a good way.

I felt an anxiety to act – and act quickly – like I had never felt since the 90’s in the early days of the dotcom era. Fulled then by venture capitol and a vision, clear or not, we moved quickly.

Today, like many other companies, LexBlog has a large customer base using a web based SaaS solution. We have the ability to pivot, using OpenAI’s API.

Good news is we are already running an AI enabled publishing platform. I am meeting with the tech and products teams – twice a week – to discuss new development work and what we’re presenting to our customers, prospective customers and the public.

A.I. has provided us the gift – need to use it wisely – of an inflection point on product development and sales.

I am optimistic and excited – yet, like other companies in The Times’ story, feeling the anxiety.