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Babbage from The Economist

Babbage: The tech behind ChatGPT—an episode from our archive

ChatGPT is just one example of a new type of artificial intelligence, which could become the next major general-purpose technology. This week, we revisit one of our favourite episodes of 2022, which explains why "foundational AI" promises to be so transformative.


The Economist’s Ludwig Siegele explains why ChatGPT has been taking the world by storm, and why foundation models, or generative AI, could end up having an economic impact similar to that of electricity. Jack Clark of Anthropic AI tells us about the new AI ecosystem that is emerging. Reeps One, a beatboxer, explains how he uses machine learning to compose music. And Kate Crawford, the author of “Atlas of AI”, considers why the technology is proving so controversial. Alok Jha hosts.


Babbage will be published every Wednesday from January 4th 2023.


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  • Babbage: Why disinformation is more dangerous than ever

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  • Babbage: The science that built the AI revolution—part four

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