For years, tech writers have been warning about how AI will eliminate the need for all kinds of human-staffed professions from truck driving to portfolio management.
Turns out, the AI bots are really coming for us.
That’s becoming increasingly clear amidst the ongoing tech world buzz around OpenAI’s newly launched ChatGPT writing bot. Today’s tech, it appears, is pretty capable of churning out readable, reasonably accurate prose on a dizzying range of topics.
Search less. Close more.
Grow your revenue with all-in-one prospecting solutions powered by the leader in private-company data.
No, ChatGPT won’t be winning the Nobel Prize for literature. But in this employed-for-now writer’s experience, it actually does a credible job discussing octopus intelligence, dishing up a brownie recipe, or explaining how to make a ham sandwich in the style of the King James Bible.
And OpenAI is just one of numerous funded companies working on tools aimed at either helping humans write or letting computers do the job. Using Crunchbase data, we identified a sample set of 20 companies along these lines funded in the past couple years, listed below:
After OpenAI, the most heavily funded company on our list is Grammarly, the AI-powered writing assistance tool that has raised $400 million to date, including a $200 million round a year ago at a reported $13 billion valuation.
Next is Jasper, developer of a platform that helps create original content while optimizing it for ROI and even repackaging it in different ways and in different languages. The Austin-based company raised $125 million in an October round led by Insight Partners that vaulted it to unicorn status.
Still early days for AI
Altogether, the 20 companies on our list raised a combined $1.7 billion to date. However, of that total, just over a billion went to OpenAI, for which writing is but one of several focus areas around artificial intelligence. Even before the ChatGPT release, the company, a nonprofit with a for-profit subsidiary, was generating copious attention for its DALL·E 2 AI-generated imagery tool.
For now, we’re still early in the introduction of AI-enabled writing tools, so it’s premature to predict a sharp decline in demand for skilled human writers. That said, it’s also premature to say these tools won’t become good enough to displace us.
In the meantime, the craft of writing a few simple paragraphs around a basic topic — the staple school assignment for countless decades — has certainly gotten easier of late with the help of tech. Let’s hope over the long run that turns out to be a good thing.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.