Navigating the Impact of Generative AI

Generative AI has dominated the 2023 news cycle. The pace of new AI products hitting the market has been nothing short of staggering. While there’s a lot of excitement around how these tools can boost productivity, there are also concerns that these tools may destroy certain white-collar jobs and exploit artists by training on their content available on the internet.

One of the most prominent AI models in this space is OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which I’ve used frequently for work. It’s been a game-changer for generating complex Google Sheets formulas and SQL queries. Before I started using ChatGPT for these tasks, I often had to turn to skilled colleagues and/or trawl through Stack Overflow forums, which was time-consuming and frustrating. I’m still experimenting with ChatGPT to see what other relevant use cases I can uncover.

While some recent tech hypes like crypto and the metaverse have come and crashed, I believe that AI is here to stay and will have a long-lasting impact on society. Most people who use AI tools regularly can find ways to make them useful for their current needs or immediate future plans. By contrast, crypto and the metaverse were too abstract for many people to grasp hence the reason for a lack of mainstream interest.

However, there’s also reason to be wary of the risks associated with the AI revolution. If AI developers are reckless with how they release these tools into the world, powerful AI models trained on biased data sets could have negative consequences and influence decision-making in harmful ways.

As someone who’s both optimistic and cautious about the impact of AI, I believe that we still have two advantages over current AI tools that will remain relevant in the foreseeable future: creativity and curiosity.

While generative AI tools can produce impressive outputs, they still need to be prompted and can only create based on what they’ve been trained on. They’re good at remixing and creating variations, but they can also be convincingly wrong or even deceptive, which the AI community refers to as hallucinations. Similarly, while AI tools excel at analysis, synthesis, and answering questions, they lack the curiosity that’s so essential to human inquiry and discovery.

Ultimately, I believe that human creativity and curiosity will continue to give us a temporary advantage over AI tools. However, as these AI models become increasingly powerful, they’ll inevitably begin to chip away at those advantages. Rather than resisting this change, I think it’s best to embrace it and explore ways to use these tools to augment our skills and abilities.

I am curious to hear how you are currently using AI or how you see us best using these tools to augment our skills. Please share in the comments below.

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