Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or a cave in Afghanistan, you’ve probably heard of ChatGPT. Launched in November 2022 by Open AI, ChatGPT is an AI (artificial intelligence) natural language chatbot that can interact with humans in a realistic, conversational style. Crazy right? It can answer questions, create computer code, respond to and generate emails, or help me write my next article. As Elon Musk tweeted, “ChatGPT is scary good. We are not far from dangerously strong AI.” This begs the question from every writer; “Will ChatGPT replace me as a writer?” Short answer; only if you’re a terrible, lazy writer.
There’s been a ton of hand-wringing and doomsday predictions from all corners of the media world about the impending elimination of jobs that rely on creating content. Writers, journalists, teachers, web browsers are all jumping into the fray, worrying over the terrible possibilities of AI and their professions.
AI Is Not New
Fact is, AI programs for writers have been around for a while. Jasper.ai, Copy.ai, Rytr, and so many more have been helping writers with their articles, essays, short stories and blog posts. Even news sites have been using AI for a few years. So why suddenly this big deal, and why are people asking if ChatGPT will replace them in their jobs?
Well as Musk said above, ChatGPT really is “scary good.” In testing it has passed difficult university entrance exams, it’s passed the bar, and it has proven, in many instances, to be faster and more efficient solving issues than Google! Every week it gets better. It keeps learning how to be better!
It’s head and shoulders above most AI chatbots, because it has learned to engage in conversations as a human. It was taught by human Open AI trainers to understand a conversation from both points of view, the user and the AI assistant.
Wanna see it in action? Check this out;
A ChatGPT Conversation Example
Me: Do you think a good writer could lose his job to an AI?
ChatGPT: Yes, in some cases an AI could potentially automate certain aspects of a writer’s job, such as writing straightforward news articles or generating content based on data inputs. However, it is unlikely that AI would be able to fully replace the creative and analytical skills that a human writer brings to their work, such as generating original ideas, conducting in-depth research, and crafting compelling narratives. As a result, it’s more likely that AI will augment rather than replace human writers in the future.
Me: How would AI augment a writer’s work?
ChatGPT: AI could potentially augment a writer’s work in several ways:
- Idea generation: AI could assist with idea generation by suggesting topics based on trends and data analysis.
- Research: AI could help with research by quickly and accurately finding information relevant to a particular topic.
- Writing assistance: AI could assist with the writing process by suggesting sentence structures and providing grammar and style suggestions.
- Content optimization: AI could analyze data and optimize content for target audiences and specific platforms.
- Fact-checking: AI could automatically check facts and figures to help ensure accuracy.
Overall, the goal of AI in augmenting a writer’s work would be to help them produce higher-quality content more efficiently and effectively.
Me: Wow! Are these things you could do for me?
ChatGPT: Yes, as an AI language model, I can assist you with a variety of language-related tasks, including writing assistance, research, and content optimization. I can provide suggestions for grammar and style, suggest sentence structures, and even help with idea generation. However, please note that I do not have the ability to independently access the internet or perform tasks outside of answering text-based questions.
Will ChatGPT Replace Me? Possibilities VS The Dangers
Crazy, right? But while so many people are fretting about this rapidly evolving platform, I’m feeling pretty excited. As ChatGPT says itself, “the goal of AI in augmenting a writer’s work would be to help them produce higher-quality content more efficiently and effectively.”
You’re probably asking yourself, “Why does he even care about AI? He’s writing a blog!”
So here’s the thing; As a lazy writer I could choose to ask an AI to write an article. I could then go ahead and post that article. And as an intelligent reader of (hopefully) class and sophistication, you’d be able to tell it wasn’t written by me. I’ve already asked ChatGPT to write a humourous paragraph about getting a gastroscopy, and, though it was decent, it’s not nearly as funny as me! (laugh track inserted here) So, will ChatGPT replace me? Given the style of articles I write, I don’t think I’m in any immediate danger.
But writers are always writing, and a fear of the blank page is real. I don’t really suffer from writer’s block, but I’ve had times when I’ve been stuck on a concept or particular thread of a topic. AI can help resolve this by providing prompts or suggestions for overcoming these little moments.
I could potentially use AI as a “first draft” to an article. It can provide the bones of a page, with rough ideas that would need fleshing out and reworking. It could suggest titles or headings that are appropriate for search engines to help rank a page higher in the search results. AI could even translate my article into a much better French than Google Translate can.
The Lazy Way
On the flipside, AI can be a great tool for the lazy e-commerce website owner. Throw up some cheap drop shipping products and have AI write the product pages, or the entire website. Review pages for affiliate products could be completely written by AI. And if it’s a good one like ChatGPT, most people would probably not notice.
Same goes for marketing. A half-assed marketer can use these tools to write emails, sales funnels, landing pages. I don’t think it could replace a good copywriter, though. A copywriter writes for the emotional connection with customers. Again, it would be a good starting point, but the copywriter is going to rewrite to make it believable to his or her customer.
My concern with AI relates to my own kids, and their journey into post secondary education and beyond. How do I keep them from falling for the easy lure of an AI program or platform producing their work for them? How do I ensure they’re learning the skills they’ll need as adults, without leaning on AI as a crutch to doing the work?
I think a tricky scenario is going to be the student writing a term paper or an essay. It’s a slippery slope for some overtired, over-caffeinated university student, who needs to get his assignment done yesterday. ChatGPT gives him the ability to bash out 500 words in just a few moments. But if he does this, without his own input, he might not get away with it…
The Limitations Of AI
ChatGPT has some significant limitations. And if the student isn’t careful, reviewing the text it creates, they could find themselves kicked out of their program. One of the limitations is a lack of quality in some of the responses it delivers. It can sound completely legitimate, but actually makes no sense and tends to ramble on. Here’s an example.
A writer for ZD NET wrote an article and described a conversation he had with ChatGPT. Here’s a small exerpt;
So it looks like, for now anyway, dating advice might be safe from AI…
Give AI A Try
How about you? Have you given ChatGPT a try? It’s currently free to use as a research preview. The creators are encouraging folks to use it and provide feedback on the interactions. This helps them continue to build it out for real-world applications. As the platform grows, there are some opportunities for purchasing a subscription to ChatGPT Plus for about US20$ per month.
If you haven’t yet, head over to Open.ai and create an account. Then take it for a spin and see what you think. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. And let me know your feelings about the whole AI movement. What do you think? Will ChatGPT replace me?
By the way, Open.ai also has another application called Dall-E2, another AI system that can create realistic images and art from a description in natural language. You can also upload a photo and have the AI manipulate it for you. The featured image for this article was created with Dall-E2. I also used it to create the featured image in a previous post! And here’s one I was playing around with as well. Enjoy!
And here’s the original…
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Well Michael. I certainly don’t live in Afghanistan, cave or otherwise but I didn’t think I was scrunched under a rock either. But who knows? Maybe someone needs to yank me up out of there? I am open to learning new things but maybe try not to diss some of your readers right out of the gate. (I’m kidding. Just another day in the sun here. See you soon.)
I’m glad you don’t live in a cave, or Afghanistan! At least I can teach you something new, even while unintentionally dissing you. My apologies? See you soon!
When AI can operate a sewage sucking service truck I’ll be impressed. In the mean time if it drives down legal fees for things like property purchases and title transfer I’m all good with that.
I think it would be great if AI could take over a sewage sucking truck. Then humans wouldn’t have to deal with getting the smell out of their hair!
Another excellent read … keep on writing!
I wonder if an AI could study several of your blog posts to understand your writing style and unique sense of humour and then create a post on your behalf [a post worthy of being published in your name] …. hmmm what a great exercise for someday
Shh! AI is listening…don’t want to give it any ideas…
Thanks for the nice words, John! I will keep going!
Michael, you are definitely irreplaceable, the one and only…………!!
Awww! Thanks Jane! If I can be one thing in the world, let me be unique!