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Generative AI’s UI Problem


Generative AI has a user interface (UI) problem. As you’ve probably noticed, there’s been an explosion of how-to guides, tools, and other resources available to help users create with AI-driven products. (This blog is guilty of this as well.) Naturally, generative AI fans are among the most prolific users of these tools, resulting in an influx of AI generated content on how to use generative AI.

However, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Part of the problem right now is that there simply is no good UI for generative tools. ChatGPT opens up seemingly infinite possibilities by allowing users to experiment with entering whatever commands they like.

However, most users don’t want to experiment. They don’t want to learn how to use the tool. They just want them to work.

I’m reminded of the pre-GUI days of the personal computer. A GUI, or graphical user interface, provides the visual navigation tools we’ve come to expect from computing devices. Prior to GUI, users needed to memorize (or reference) dictionaries of codes to get the computer to complete a desired transaction.

Today’s ChatGPT interface is undoubtedly much more flexible in its understanding of commands, but does not exactly offer the user instructions on how to start or progress.

One area where i’m excited to see these tools improve is in their ability to guide the user through the interaction.

To fill this gap, we’re beginning to see tools like Jasper interface with GPT-3 to provide a UI for the tool. Users can select templates that walk them through the steps they might take to write a blog post or write a cover letter.

However, in practice, I’ve found these templates more troublesome than they are worth. Although they provide guidance on how to execute tasks, they reduce the capabilities down to an infinitely small fraction of what GPT-3 is capable of performing.

I expect that with time, ChatGPT and other tools will evolve to provide more instruction and guidance on how to get the best results. But for now, we’re just not there.

In the interim, I hope this blog will become a resource to identify the tools that are worth using and truly master their capabilities.

I look forward to hearing from you in the comments.

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