AI vs. Marshy

AI versus Marshy #36: context windows, job updates, and HR

Published about 2 months ago • 4 min read

Hello and welcome to the 36th edition of AI versus Marshy!

The distillation of a week’s worth of AI news by a growth marketer with a conscience.

Lots to talk about this week, including:

  • A deeper look at context windows and why they're important
  • Some hard data on the impact of AI on freelancing jobs
  • I rub shoulders with the HR crowd investigating AI and startup potential

So let’s make like a slope and ski on with it ⛷️


TIL about context windows

Via Every.

First Google called it Bard.

Then they rebadged it to Gemini.

They released a Pro version.

But this update is about Gemini Pro 1.5.

Hopefully I didn’t confuse you!

Dan Shipper - founder of Every and it’s respective publication Chain of Thought, had a chance to play with the latter.

We all know that Google have been working on AI for a long-time.

We could also claim that ChatGPT caught them with their pants down (rude!).

But it’s not like one of the world’s most valuable companies was sitting on their hands.

Gemini Pro 1.5 is proof of that.

Dan’s article goes into the nuts and bolts of why, but the headline is: context windows.

A way to think about this is how near/far the LLM can zoom into a topic.

The example Dan gives is about an obscure book he references about a particular scene.

This is wrong, and because ChatGPT can’t retrieve that level of detail in one fell swoop (it moves in chunks) it guesses what the most likely answer is.

The example is helpful because it gives you a sense of how the tech works.

If he gives it the whole book - ChatGPT can answer it, but not because it can read the whole book, but because it can look for “first answers after an event” and then provide the best possible answer for that.

Dan balances this against GP 1.5 - which absolutely nails it with succinct detail.

I’ve noticed this while building my GPT by just uploading my book and some steering. The tool doesn’t quite nail it - and I had to add some strict guardrails to stick to the principles.

The reason for this is context windows.

You can’t get an AI to operate as a detailed book is instructing to - yet.

But with GP 1.5 it appears you can.

The plot thickens.

If this trend continues - a large context window has the room to absorb all of your personal data to have at the tip of your fingers ready to go.

This is utopia for academic researchers, and basically the same for me (I have books, book highlights, saved articles, articles, 1,000+ notes on various subjects and projects etc.)

Look out!

Keep in mind - we’re only into Year 2 since LLMs went big-time (yes, you read that correctly).

The impact of AI on freelancing jobs

Via Bloomberry.

Henley wrote an amazing piece looking at the data/changes in job ads on Upwork since 1st November 2022.

That’s when ChatGPT broke out and you would think with a 16 month data set you would see some obvious change?

Yes, and no.

Henley looked at:

  • jobs with biggest decrease in volume
  • jobs least affected
  • jobs with biggest decrease in pay
  • which AI skills had the biggest increase in job postings

Here’s the summary:

  • Most jobs increased
  • Writing, translation, and customer service jobs are in decline
  • Video editing, graphic design, and web design increased the most
  • The biggest decreases in pay were across translation, video editing/production, and web design

The weirdest part of it all was the biggest increase in job postings?



Can we not think of anything else for remote freelancers to do?

I didn’t realise you could get so much data from Upwork.

Matt @ Systm (growth marketer) shares another use case for validating your B2B software idea.

Marshy’s look at generative AI and Human Resources.

Via Gartner.

76% of HR leaders believe they need to implement AI solutions within the next 12-24 months or be lagging

I’ve been hinting at working on something for a while and I’m still not ready to go prime-time as details get ironed out.

I can say I’ve been immersing myself in the world of HR and looking at what AI can do for this sector.

While I’m a career-trained digital marketer, it’s not because it’s the most exciting discipline.

At the time - I saw it as the discipline I could leverage the most. I had a natural affinity for online and communication, so when Twitter, 3G mobile, and Google started taking off I was ready to ride the wave.

It’s no surprise to anyone that I’m seeing the same thing with AI.

But rather than go full-tilt at a discipline I know better than most people in the country - I’m looking for something that’s more open to leverage.

Digital marketing is not that. The intersection between tech and marketing is hitting more maturity and there’s nothing to be gained from doing more of the same.

Human Resources is a different thing altogether.

It’s a very traditional department and relies heavily on people, relationships, interpretation, nuance, and navigating all of that with an organisation’s best interests.

Zooming into recruitment, it’s well - yeah I don’t think I need to build on what everyone thinks of recruitment.

So I’ve been collaborating with a team and exploring if we can make a play. Gartner thinks that most professionals are thinking about this and that it’s coming fast.

I went to Indeed Futureworks last week and noticed the same. Talking to recruitment agencies, corporations, nonprofits, and software providers - the overall read of the room is that AI is here and that everyone is doing something about AI.

The details were a bit vague - but everyone was aware.

It was fun immersing myself in HR land and doing the pitter/patter of an event.

One of the other highlights was seeing Chloe Dalton speak. She was an WNBL player, women’s rugby gold medallist at the 2016 Olympics, and now an AFLW player.

Her advocacy for women in sport was amazing to learn about.

I still can’t share much more about what I’m up to but will continue sharing what I can.

That’s it for this time - what a week! Again!

As always if you’ve got questions about AI I’m happy to answer them.

You can reply to this email or ask live over a big fast value call.

Until next time, remember - we’ve got this! 💪


AI vs. Marshy

by Luke "Marshy" Marshall

Growth marketer meets biggest technological advancement in our lives. Learn about AI in a way that doesn't overwhelm. Add a splash of strap yourself in and be prepared.

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