Talking Tech

Talking Tech is produced by the Progressive Tech Team of George O’Connor, Ian Robertson and Gareth Evans. Our aim is to bring you up to date with the tech news cycle each week. We comment via blog and podcast on the slings and arrows of the sector at a time of huge change.

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February 20, 2024

Welcome to Talking Tech…

The world of tech changed forever on 30 November 2022 when OpenAI launched Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer, ChatGPT. Sceptics will argue that a chatbot can’t change the world, but the smarts was a large language model enabling users to refine and steer a conversation towards a desired length, format, style, level of detail, and language. As ChatGPT ‘generates’ content – the hint is in the name. Since then, users have adopted ChatGPT in their droves; 180.5m users makes it the world’s eighth largest country. The core technology has been through iterations and competitors have debuted. With GenAI, the tech industry embarked on its latest growth cycle and, with it, new opportunities awaken. Of course, it also creates technical debt, making some incumbent tech legacy, and so starts a new ‘winners and losers’ cycle.

There is no GenAI silver bullet. There is no one-stop shop like (say) SAP R/3 in the Y2K wave. While the market is in raptures with Nvidia, through a tech practitioner’s eye there are many ways to buy and deploy the GenAI trend. These have been safely ignored by the investment community as the Nvidia (GPU chips) share price surge has been dramatic (+415% since 30 November 2022), but importantly its awesome hockey stick financials have resulted in a surge in earnings and cash generation ensuring that it is not an expensive share, so everyone has the Midas touch.

LSE has no Nvidia. Whilst we have no GenAI ‘shovels’, the LSE plays host to many technology suppliers that will benefit from the trend and companies that use the technology to carve out competitive advantage by changing internal processes, altering cost models and driving fresh revenue streams. Knowing history can be a handicap as new embryonic markets have similar patterns, but waves are never the same. The later stage of any new cycle sees new companies (the natives) do new things as industries experience disintermediation; some are dashed, others are re-born, more crumble under the weight of technical debt. For example, Asos was founded in 2000, long after the birth of the underlying Internet technology, with THG: 2004, Trustpilot: 2007, Uber: 2007 and Deliveroo: 2013. None of these were seen as ‘tech’ companies. In addition, with one of the world’s largest AI startup communities, the UK has the potential to generate a steady flow of IPOs over the coming years.

It takes a village to raise a child. With Talking Tech, our aim is to bring you into this cycle every week, whether you are an investor, company or part of the wider stakeholder and Progressive community. We aim to comment via blog and podcast on the slings and arrows of a sector at a time of change. Our vision is to make this forum as interactive as possible. We welcome feedback, commentary and talk – here too the hint is in the name.

Welcome to tomorrow.

Your Progressive Tech team

George, Ian and Gareth



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