Chatty and convivial it might be, but how will OpenAI’s breakthrough chatbot disrupt industries and humankind?
There once was a model named ChatGPT Whose writing skills were quite adept It typed with such ease Answering questions with breeze Making all other AI look inept.
Writing is an art that might not be everyone’s cup of chai (or coffee), but if American Artificial Intelligence (AI) research laboratory OpenAI has their way, the oddly named ChatGPT (GPT stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer) could provide an elegant and innovative solution to that challenge. The AI, which describes itself as “an AI assistant trained to provide helpful and informative responses to a wide variety of questions,” has taken the internet and wider by storm, with millions of users within weeks of going live.
ChatGPT represents a significant advancement in the field of AI and natural language processing. As a large language model, it is able to understand and respond to a wide variety of text inputs, making it a powerful tool for various applications such as language translation, text summarization, and even creative writing. Its ability to understand and generate human-like text opens up exciting possibilities for the future of human-computer interactions, and it has the potential to greatly enhance our ability to communicate and collaborate with technology in ways that were previously unimaginable. Additionally, it could help to solve complex problems and make more accurate predictions, which can benefit industries and improve the quality of human life.
Not convinced? Here’s something to ponder; the limerick written at the start of this story and the paragraph written above this were both written by ChatGPT as a response to a cue given. True story.
So, does this mean ChatGPT or similar such AI will be replacing jobs anytime soon? And what does this mean for the future of humankind? Join us as we ponder these questions.
The business case
The powerful language model underpinning ChatGPT was developed for one specific purpose; creating human-like responses in a natural, conversational flow. Think, then, of the many situations in which it can be usefully applied, such as embedding it to create human-like conversations with customers, or creating copy for a campaign that is set to roll out shortly. By smoothening workflows and delivering better customer experiences, it has the potential to shake up the workplace.
Think of those content marketing plans that entire teams have to painstakingly draw up and research, and realise that an AI could streamline that process singlehandedly. Or, once it has fully learnt the syntax of a given programming language, it could check code for errors. In a similar vein, it can also be used in data analysis and research after it has been sufficiently trained on large datasets, post which it can generate insights and predictions. This could potentially help companies make better decisions, increase productivity and efficiency.
AI in the workplace
Feeling too lazy to finish off that task you’ve put off all day? Perhaps in the near future you could delegate it to a bot. But know that it might not be perfect. AI like ChatGPT has been trained on publicly available, large amounts of data, such as that on the internet. And to err is human, just as lying on the internet is.
Even so, AI is increasingly embedding itself in the workplace. According to a recent study conducted by tech company IBM, 35% of companies are actively using AI in their day-to-day operations and 42% are still exploring AI’s potential for the future. This can take on many forms, such as virtual assistants that complete routine tasks, collect data, glean insights, perform analysis or so much more. Little wonder then that AI-powered voice assistants are anticipated to reach eight billion users by the end of 2023.
But experts stop short of saying AI will replace human jobs. Professor Erik Brynjolfsson, Director of Stanford University’s Digital Economy Lab stated this in an interview with CBS. “Most of the U.S. economy is knowledge and information work, and that’s who’s going to be most squarely affected by this. I would put people like lawyers right at the top of the list. Obviously, a lot of copywriters, screenwriters. But I like to use the word ‘affected,’ not ‘replaced,’ because I think if done right, it’s not going to be AI replacing lawyers; it’s going to be lawyers working with AI replacing lawyers who don’t work with AI.” The key, then, is to create skillsets that are complementary with AI, making it imperative for employees to upskill themselves constantly.
Growing up, many students would studiously research encyclopedia and research entries, and ChatGPT represents the natural evolution of that, going so far as to automating the entire process of researching and writing a paper or homework. In fact, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School released a research paper to ascertain if ChatGPT could hypothetically get a Wharton MBA. (Spoiler alert: it passed the final exam with a score between a B- and B on the final exam).
Professor Christian Terwiesch, the author of the paper, said that this shows the AI’s “remarkable ability to automate some of the skills of highly compensated knowledge workers in general and specifically the knowledge workers in the jobs held by MBA graduates including analysts, managers, and consultants.”
This of course raised concerns over ethicality and plagiarism, and expectedly, New York City’s Department of Education announced a ban on ChatGPT from its schools’ devices and networks. The AI’s conversational style makes it hard to distinguish from a human writing style, even if it lacks the warmth and affability of a human writer.
Still, Terwiesch noted that the AI’s performance on the test has “important implications for business school education, including the need for exam policies, curriculum design focusing on collaboration between human and AI, opportunities to simulate real world decision making processes, the need to teach creative problem-solving, improved teaching productivity, and more.” This is perhaps a crucial turning point for education, where AI can be a tool like the calculator or Wikipedia and the internet itself. None of these things can undermine education, for they are simply a means to an end, and not the end in itself. Humankind has always evolved, learning to walk, then run, then creating the means to fly and drive. This too is a stage in the evolution of humankind and education.
ChatGPT has the potential to transform the way we work in a variety of industries. Its ability to understand and generate human-like text will open up new opportunities for cost savings, improved customer experience, and increased efficiency. However, it is important to remember that this technology is still in its early stages, and its full potential has yet to be realized. As the technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more potential applications for ChatGPT.
Editor’s note: This conclusion too has been written by ChatGPT. This tech truth is hitting too close to home.