Sun | Apr 2, 2023

Yaneek Page | ChatGPT: New rival or valuable resource

Published:Sunday | January 29, 2023 | 12:24 AM

A ChatGPT prompt is shown on a mobile device.
A ChatGPT prompt is shown on a mobile device.

Still in its testing phase, the new artificial intelligence tool, ChatGPT, wrote an article about business growth for 2023 in just over one minute, a task that would take the typical human being several hours to complete. In just over five minutes...

Still in its testing phase, the new artificial intelligence tool, ChatGPT, wrote an article about business growth for 2023 in just over one minute, a task that would take the typical human being several hours to complete.

In just over five minutes, it also completed the equivalent of a full day’s work for a writer or communications specialist producing a motivational speech, a press release, a sales pitch, a formal business letter, social media content for a week, and a résumé and cover letter. All of this in just over 300 seconds.

I have shared below a sample of the text produced, the ‘Believe in Yourself’ speech produced by ChatGPT, so you may judge for yourself the quality of the chatbot’s output:

Believe in yourself and all that you are.

Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.

You have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.

Don’t let anyone hold you back from pursuing your dreams.

You are capable of more than you can imagine.

You have within you the power to overcome any obstacle, to achieve any goal, to make your dreams come true.

Believe in yourself, and the rest will fall into place.

Take the first step, and the next will become clear.

You are strong, you are capable, and you are destined for greatness.

So go out there and make it happen.

The world is waiting for you to shine.

Believe in yourself and let your light shine bright.

A motivational speech produced in under one minute, complete with title, is impressive. It should also impress upon us the reality that the future is here, and it is either coming for our jobs or will become our most valuable resource for productivity, ease of work, and enhanced quality of life or both. Or better. Or worse.

GPT is an acronym for generative pre-training transformer and forms part of a wider spectrum of technologies pioneered by the Silicon Valley-based start-up, OpenAI.

You may sign up for testing or usage of ChatGPT on its website. OpenAI describes itself as “an AI research and deployment company with a mission to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity”. However, there are legitimate questions about the potential impact of radical automation that will result in a mass loss of jobs, high unemployment, widening of the wealth gap, deepening poverty, an acceleration of welfare states, and many other harmful consequences.

Currently, ChatGPT can write code, simulate human conversation, automate basic tasks and workflows, write technical scripts, processes, produce business communications, create viral social media content, write articles and blog posts, resumes, cover letters, contracts, business plans and pitches, and much more.

Having tested ChatGPT, I can confirm that the global hype is justified. However, don’t just rely on my word. Do a quick Google search of headlines around the world related to ChatGPT and you will see that the chatbot has stunned many academics by passing the US medical licensing exam, Bar exam, and a Wharton MBA exam.

Its powerful capabilities to pass exams, complete assignments, and generate creative works has forced some school districts to ban its use temporarily, while universities around the world are already responding by adjusting how they teach and prepare examinations. Interestingly, the early output of ChatGPT has not tripped plagiarism alarm bells, presenting an even greater challenge for assessors in identifying test cheats.

What does all this mean for businesses and organisations locally? As a start, it is time to do extensive research and testing of chat GPT to understand its capabilities and how it can and will affect work.

There are opportunities to increase efficiency, save time, money, redirect resources, create new income streams, improve service, among many other potential benefits. Then we need to assess the risks. Entities should carefully examine its offerings, business models, value propositions, and determine whether ChatGPT’s immediate implication supports collaboration or cannibalisation.

We should always maintain the most positive outlook, particularly that advanced AI may indeed be deployed for the benefit of humanity. At the same time, we can’t be blinded by rose-coloured glasses and self-aggrandising chat. Proaction is required to enhance competitiveness and viability in the local, regional, and global landscape. Artificial intelligence can make our lives considerably easier, but it can also render our efforts redundant.

One thing that we can be certain of: we ignore these advancements to our peril. If we do nothing, or act too late, the certain outcome is that early adopters will maximise advanced AI as a valuable resource to enhance their competitiveness and profitability while they become our fiercest rivals.

One love!

Yaneek Page is the programme lead for Market Entry USA, a certified trainer in entrepreneurship, and creator and executive producer of The Innovators and Let’s Make Peace TV series.