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As a long time user, I've seen SE go through multiple cycles of trying to find new revenue sources (Careers, Teams, and now AI), and when it fails we go through cycles of downsizing like the most recent one.

There's generally a loss in confidence in the management — and many folks, myself included do not believe the current genAI focus is going to lead to success.

I do believe that right now, SE's genAI products are essentially a 'wrapper' over OpenAI's LLM for most part — and as of November 2023, OpenAI is going through a significant level of upheaval. They may potentially get acquired, or lose all their staff to Microsoft and others.

I also am under the impression many of the genAI experiments, while I'm sure are great for marketing copy, haven't resulted in usable tools from what I've seen.

Considering these tools are tied into external APIs — apparently from an organisation that's currently in a period of unparalleled chaos — this seems like a massively unstable basket to put one's eggs in.

It's a really major issue when your weaknesses, opportunities and threats are... the same thing, and a potential strength (community) is basically threatened by the company strategy.

Where the company has failed the community and its own goals — and let's be honest, layoffs to cut costs are a sign of failure to meet goals, no matter how much you spin it — what does the company intend to do to cushion the external risks of their upstream genAI providers going bust, or if AI isn't a good fit for SE's products?

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    throwing a comment link here - meta.stackexchange.com/questions/394892/… since this is related to the outcomes I expect/worry about. Commented Nov 23, 2023 at 15:11
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    Using some sort of AI sounds like a reasonable bet to me. It's surely not going to go away. OpenAI is just one provider or many in the long term (hopefully). Commented Nov 25, 2023 at 22:36
  • SE seems to have found a route forward in the form of exchanging data for something useful. Whether that's lipstick on a pig or a wodge of cash is anyone's guess. techcrunch.com/2024/05/06/…
    – Andy Gee
    Commented May 6 at 23:25
  • Well that's the other side of things - SE's acting as an upstream for other AI properties, and the threat there is what they do if that source of revenue dries up. Commented May 7 at 2:53

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Considering these tools are tied into external APIs — apparently from an organisation that's currently in a period of unparalleled chaos — this seems like a massively unstable basket to put one's eggs in.

That's not the case, for 3 reasons:

  1. OpenAI GPT models can still be accessed via Microsoft Azure, even if OpenAI goes down.
  2. There exist some decent alternatives to OpenAI's GPT, e.g. Anthropic's Claude.
  3. Open-source LLMs are improving.
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    Well yes, all of these would be viable plan Bs for the chaos with openAI, but considering the reaction to 'failure' is layoffs, I'm concerned about a soft landing if the current gen AI plans don't work either Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 12:47
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    @JourneymanGeek you asked "what does the company intend to do to cushion the external risks of their upstream genAI providers going bust, or if AI isn't a good fit for SE's products?" That's two different questions. I answered the first one. Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 13:33
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    @FranckDernoncourt This question is looking for answers from an authoritative source. How do you know that what you've listed is Stack Overflow Inc's plan?
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 21:40
  • @wizzwizz4 I'm familiar with companies using GPT. Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 23:08
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    @FranckDernoncourt Which perhaps puts you in a good position to advise the company, but unless you're familiar with this particular company, it doesn't help you answer the question.
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 23:39
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    @wizzwizz4 that's no reason he can't or shouldn't answer the question either
    – user13267
    Commented Nov 24, 2023 at 2:49

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