Interview: Confused About AI? A Guide to Which Flavor Will Boost Productivity for Business

Wall Street Journal
March 12, 2024
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Originally published on Wall Street Journal

Nomad Data's CEO Brad Schneider spoke with Christopher Mims of the Wall Street Journal on applications of the world’s most powerful AIs to real world problems and what we've learned at Nomad Data.

Read some snippets below:

On how other companies appear to be catching up with the capabilities of OpenAI, but for now their models remain the standard by which all others are judged

“We are using OpenAI like crazy,” says Brad Schneider, chief executive of Nomad Data, a company that helps large companies use AI. Nomad Data uses OpenAI to digest, summarize and search within huge libraries of documents, such as legal briefs, court cases and insurance claims. The company’s clients also include private-equity firms who might have only a week to digest thousands of documents about a company they’re about to acquire.

After trying all of the most-capable large-language models, Schneider’s company found that none are as good as OpenAI for these kinds of document-processing tasks. Previous versions of Anthropic’s Claude and current versions of Google’s Gemini both hallucinated too often, he found. (In AI, ‘hallucination’ isa term for when a chatbot makes up false information.)

On the costs associated with using AI models

“We have cases where one question someone asks can cost $50,” says Schneider. That could happen if, for example, someone asks a specific question about a collection of 5,000 legal documents, because the number of calls to OpenAI’s systems could be in the tens of thousands.

On the interplay of Microsoft and OpenAI

When OpenAI adds a new feature, there is a meaningful delay before it becomes available in Microsoft’s version of those models, says Schneider. Microsoft’s version of GPT 4 also seems to be capacity constrained in a way that OpenAI’s is not, leading to stricter limits on how many tokens a minute businesses can buy from it, he adds.

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