Taking over the world, enslaving all of humanity, writing the odd blog post — in 2023, the prospects for AI are looking more dynamic than ever. But what do the latest breakthroughs in the space mean for creative workers?
By this point, chances are you’ve heard a thing or two about ChatGPT, the machine learning chatbot that’s making texting cool again.
The free-to-use tool, developed by Californian tech outfit OpenAI (a company with seed funding provided by Elon Musk amongst others), was released to the public back in November and quickly made headlines for surpassing 100 million users within just two months of launch.
It works by generating information based on a complex computer algorithm, responsible for interpreting a user’s prompt and coming back with a relevant response in conversational style.
For example, some users have asked the chatbot to write children’s fiction, complete their college essays, or even put together a script for the next (maybe) box office smash. If you can think of something to write, ChatGPT has written it.
The tool certainly has potential, and is drawing attention — most recently from tech giant Microsoft, which has invested a further $10 billion in OpenAI products.
Now, as rumors swirl about a new iteration of the record-shattering AI platform, many are wondering what the implications are for businesses and HR leaders: could ChatGPT be taking your seat in the office?
The artificial argument
As a text-based chatbot, many have hastily declared ChatGPT to be the harbinger of doom for writing staff across multiple industries. From coding to marketing, businesses are already choosing to employ the tool over real human professionals to write script and copy.
It’s not a new concept for businesses to automate their processes using AI. The first industrial robotics were implemented back in the 1950s, and uptake has grown exponentially since then, to say the least.
Recent world events have helped, too — a study by PwC has shown that 52% of companies accelerated their AI adoption following the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, for the average business, applying AI to traditional creative roles would have been out of the question this time last year when the expensive tech was in its infancy.
That is, of course, until ChatGPT went public — and now these trades are able to put the intelligent tool to work for free.
So, if you’re working in one of these long-standing professions, you might be starting to sweat your job security. But do you have anything to worry about just yet? Let’s discuss why ChatGPT might not take your job as quickly as some supporters think it will.
Learning and implementing a programming language takes time, dedication and skill — and so software coding offers a lucrative career path.
Understandably, alarm bells started to ring among developer communities when news broke that ChatGPT could write line upon line of error-free code for a range of HTML functions.
What’s more, the chatbot has shown that it can pass entry-level certification exams, similar to what is expected of junior developers entering the field.
As a result, some advocates have argued that the tool can reduce the time and expense of hiring developers to build websites, apps and other software, all the while making it harder for burgeoning developers to find work.
However, ChatGPT does not currently pose any real threat of usurping, knowledgeable, competent developers.
When tasked with writing complex code for anything beyond the simplest of functions, ChatGPT stumbles at the first hurdle, advising users to update the code with their own information to make it usable.
Sure, it can provide the foundation to be tailored by a human developer, but doesn’t seem to be able to write code that can function independently for anything more than a rudimentary HTML page.
Instead, ChatGPT could be enlisted as a coding assistant, helping to debug existing code that it’s fed. In its current state, the tool can be a great asset to developers — but certainly isn’t bullying them into redundancy.
OpenAI’s other tools like DALL-E have stoked debate over whether a computer can produce truly creative works. Further to that question — what is creativity? Is it an innately human trait? And if so, does ‘AI art’ not count as art?
While the internet continues to self-combust, some businesses have quietly employed ChatGPT to produce creative marketing materials.
Feeding tailored prompts to the tool can return anything from a long-form SEO blog post to social media microcopy in mere seconds. So, what could this mean for the world of digital marketing?
In short, it’s not making waves just yet. At its core, ChatGPT is a skilled researcher — with unabridged access to the internet’s wealth of resources, the tool can tell you practically anything you need to know — so long as it’s already been said by somebody else.
And this is the fatal flaw with implementing ChatGPT for content marketing, where the goal is usually to produce human-focused, original copy that will be rewarded by Google in the search rankings.
Google has grown progressively smarter when it comes to rewarding quality content and penalizing what is automatically generated. This means that generic, regurgitated content is unlikely to improve a client’s search rankings in any meaningful way — let alone engage an audience.
ChatGPT’s language-model-optimized responses still read as a little stiff, and at other times, provide information that is completely incorrect, which is hardly conducive to quality content.
Looking ahead, search engines may even start to search for AI watermarks to target computer-generated copy, which would only further devalue ChatGPT’s marketing efforts.
What the future holds
Despite some hasty and potentially misguided applications at its current stage of development, there’s no denying that ChatGPT is a seriously intelligent tool.
Even before OpenAI releases the next update to their chatbot service, it can provide business value if used as an asset, not a replacement for real-life employees.
With the global AI market touted to climb to an estimated value of $1,597 billion by 2030, we can expect to see more progress in the space and eventually, yes, more jobs being passed over to our supercomputer counterparts.
But for now, many of the roles that have been prematurely pushed onto the chopping block are safe.
Developers, marketeers, and HR leaders rejoice — the robots haven’t won just yet.
Looking for more insight into artificial intelligence? Have a look at the agenda for UNLEASH America 2023, where thought leaders the world over will convene to discuss the impact of AI on HR.
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