The past 80 years have brought many technological advancements to the workplace. Among the most transformative has been the inventions of desktop computing, the internet, and mobile technology. It appears that ChatGPT may be the latest in transformative technology.
ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot developed by a company named OpenAI.
AI has existed in some form since the 1950s. It is not a new technology. The term AI refers to a machine with the ability to perceive, synthesize, or infer information. We encounter AI on a daily basis. Common examples include maps & navigation, text autocorrect, and chatbots.
The difference with ChatGPT is that it is infinitely better at taking disparate information sources and coming to conclusions than any other AI. In other words, it can “think” in a more advanced way than previous AI. As a result, it is being utilized in increasingly advanced settings that were previously the domain of humans. This is quite possibly the first disruptive technology facing white collar workers and is causing concern.
This begs the obvious question, will ChatGPT impact my job?
On a long enough timescale, the answer is yes. As of now, ChatGPT is useful in specific, narrowly focused areas, and is not a general purpose piece of technology. It is likely to improve efficiency and accuracy in a variety of areas, for example, reviewing dense legal files and documents. But humans will still be needed for quality control, to understand situational nuances, and to foster human connections.
And as with any technological innovation, another outcome is the creation of new jobs. For example, Social Media Manager is now a standard job at companies of every shape and size. This was not the case 20 years ago. It should be exciting to see the ways in which ChatGPT creates jobs and impacts our modern workplace in the years to come.