Artificial Intelligence

Year in a word: LLM

Stay informed with free updates

(noun) A large language model that can create text, images and code that mimic human ability

In 2023, artificial intelligence burst into the mainstream. The decades-old discipline had been advancing quickly in recent years, steadily improving the ability of computers to spot patterns in large data sets, and even predict them.

These huge strides, resulting from an explosion of data online, alongside more powerful computer hardware and algorithms, culminated in the invention of the large language model, or LLM: software that can write plausible sophisticated text, and generate images and computer code that imitate human ability. The LLM itself isn’t brand new but it underpins ChatGPT, the AI chatbot that took the world by storm just over a year ago. 

Since OpenAI launched ChatGPT, which is now used by up to 100mn people a week, the LLM has reshaped the tech industry. The biggest companies are racing for dominance with releases including OpenAI’s GPT models, Google’s Gemini — which powers its chatbot Bard and can be used on mobile devices — Meta’s LLaMA and Cohere’s Command. The software underpins chatbots, image-generating tools such as Midjourney and Dall-E, and products that generate and analyse code, audio, voice and video. 

It is remarkable how rapidly consumers and businesses have adopted the models in the past year. Students, doctors, lawyers and scientists have used them to speed up writing and analysis tasks. Many believe the new technology can transform almost every industry.

As the LLM is woven into our lives, the work of the next few years will be to weigh up and enhance its touted benefits against the huge societal threat it poses — namely, the potential obliteration of hundreds of millions of jobs.


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.