In my last article, I called ChatGPT a major disrupter. I and many I talked to were notably concerned about the quick onset of the technology. In a short time, we saw ChatGPT, CoPilot, Bing Chat, and Google Bard roll out to the masses, each offering unique advantages.
Would this new technology upset jobs? Would it make us obsolete? Would it promote illegal activity? Would it be used at all?
Now it’s been a year since Github Copilot was released and six months since the release of ChatGPT. That’s not a very long time, but the success of these technologies has been undeniable. Companies like Microsoft are touting the integration of this technology into everything from word processors to email clients.
Should We Be Concerned?
No, I believe we should all be using it. In fact, the sooner you start, the better off you’ll be. To understand why, it’s essential to realize what GPT is and what it isn’t.
First, let’s consider what the acronym GPT stands for, a Generative Pretrained Transformer. That’s a mouthful, but the important word to focus on here is “pretrained”. GPT has been trained using a massive amount of existing data. It doesn’t have the ability to learn or remember anything new. Referring to GPT as an artificial intelligence is misleading at best.
The GPT software forms large networks of data with the singular purpose of predicting the next word in a sequence of words. This is called language modeling. The more data the language model is trained with, the better it is at predicting the next word in the conversation.
One key factor that should alleviate some concerns is that GPT does not store personal data to use in subsequent conversations. This is because it does not have the capacity to understand or learn new information. While it might appear GPT is discovering new concepts or ideas, responses are always based on old data.
This is the very reason why GPT is so effective. If it was allowed to learn on-the-fly, its answers would be inconsistent and unreliable at best. Artificial intelligence will always lack one essential element, human intuition. AI technology will forever be just a mesh of complex mathematical computations and algorithms.
This technology will never possess conscious thought or display creativity in the same manner we do. It can only make use of the data it has been given. Just follow all the new court cases that have been opened recently on AI art and plagerism.
GPT is the Ultimate Librarian: Use It Like One
Think of GPT as a very good librarian. Mention some random subject, GPT will unload an array of information about it without abandon, feeling, or prejudice. This is where GPT really shines. It can save hours of work sifting through Google search results.
GPT technology does an amazing job of presenting information in a way that is easy to understand. Although it can create content, that’s not where it excels. It’s best used as a research tool.
Recently, I was asked to write a report to the FBI. So, I asked ChatGPT what format should I consider when presenting my material. The outline I was given was so specific, I was able to complete the report in a few days when it would have easily taken me a couple of weeks.
Another concern people have with GPT is receiving inaccurate information. I’d like to argue that a large portion of the data we use every day is inaccurate. Just turn on the latest news broadcast. Those experienced in the field they are researching will be the ones who gain the most benefit from this technology, as mistakes are easily noticeable.
Another advantage of GPT is infinite patience. It will calmly answer all your questions without complaint. It will never get tired or bored. It will never get frustrated or angry. It will never get distracted or forget what you asked it to do. It will never get sick or take a day off, and it will never ask for a raise or a promotion. This makes GPT the ultimate tutor.
The strength in GPT lies in its capacity to provide information on demand and help simplify complex concepts. Like everything else, it has some flaws, but this technology is here to stay. In the future, it will manage the computers that augment all our home appliances and office equipment.
If you’re considering integrating GPT into your business and want some advice, don’t hesitate to call me. It won’t be long before ChatGPT starts rolling out applications allowing us to purchase groceries, reserve tables at our favorite restaurants, or fill the calendar with appointments gathered from our email inbox.
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