The Shifting Dynamics Of Large Language Models

Frank Diana
3 min readMay 2, 2024

We are clearly in the early days of a transition and we are watching it unfold before us. Hype aside, it is fascinating to watch artificial intelligence rapidly evolve. A recent article provides a small example. As we view this evolution through the lens of accelerants and obstacles, much has been said about regulations and the limitations of data and compute power (potential obstacles). The article identifies two possible accelerants: intensifying competition and new sources of data. Here is a brief summary.

In the ever-evolving realm of large language models (LLMs), recent developments suggest a significant shift in both performance benchmarks and regulatory landscapes. A comprehensive overview reveals the convergence of various factors reshaping the trajectory of LLMs, from performance equality among leading models to impending regulations aimed at ensuring safety and accountability.

Until recently, benchmark tests like MMLU and HellaSwag were the yardsticks for measuring the knowledge and problem-solving capabilities of LLMs. However, the past six months have witnessed a notable narrowing of performance gaps among well-known models. Once hailed as the undisputed champion, OpenAI’s GPT-4 now shares the stage with models from Anthropic, Mistral, Meta, Cohere, and Google, showcasing comparable or even superior scores across different benchmarks.

Traditionally, enhancing LLM performance relied on augmenting training data and computational power. However, the returns on indiscriminately scraped public web data are deemed limited. Consequently, a shift towards specialized data acquisition, particularly in domains like healthcare, is underway. This quest for expertise underscores the transition from general-purpose LLMs to specialized, expert systems-a transformation facilitated by platforms like Gretel, which anonymize proprietary training data for model refinement.

This pursuit of specialized data has prompted AI developers to strike content deals with publishers and explore avenues for licensing proprietary datasets. The evolving landscape hints at potential acquisitions of content companies to access crucial training data. Moreover, collaborations with academic institutions signal a broader strategy to leverage research content for model enrichment. I sense an ecosystem play emerging.

Simultaneously, regulatory efforts like California’s SB 1047 aim to establish safety guidelines for LLM development, mandating pre-training safety assessments, adherence to safety standards, and reporting of model-induced incidents. While concerns regarding enforcement and potential stifling of innovation persist, such regulations signify a pivotal step towards ensuring accountability in AI development, particularly concerning models like OpenAI’s GPT-4 and Google’s Gemini.

Amidst these developments, the Verge’s survey illuminates a notable trend in AI-driven search adoption. With a growing preference for AI tools over traditional search engines, coupled with increasing trust in AI-generated information, the landscape of web search is on the brink of a significant transformation. This shift in user behavior could expedite the integration of AI-native search experiences into mainstream platforms like Google, while also fostering opportunities for emerging players like Perplexity.

As the narrative of LLMs continues to unfold, it underscores the intricate interplay between technological advancements, regulatory frameworks, and evolving user preferences. The convergence of these factors heralds a new era in AI-driven innovation, shaping not only the capabilities of language models but also the broader landscape of information retrieval and societal interaction.

Originally published at on May 2, 2024.



Frank Diana

TCS Executive focused on the rapid evolution of society and business. Fascinated by the view of the world in the next decade and beyond