ChatGPT and what it means for the way we work

This article was featured in our Ideas to Impact newsletter. Each month we explore the ideas that create real impact with exclusive insights from our team to help accelerate your strategic business outcomes. Subscribe today to receive each issue in your inbox as soon as it’s published.

It might have only launched last November, but already ChatGPT has gone from a ripple to a tidal wave. Microsoft announced their AI-powered Bing and Edge products, and then – noting the enthusiastic public reaction – Google announced their own human-friendly AI-powered chatbot, Bard, which has already made the headlines. 

This is all obviously game-changing tech. Chatbots have been with us for a while, but they have never been this sophisticated, this outwardly impressive. OpenAI has done an incredible job in leaping chatbots forward to sound more human, and more confident. But it’s still very much a work in progress. And as such, on occasion, that confidence might be misplaced.

The fact is, ChatGPT has been trained to engage in conversation. But currently, we’re in the dark about the specific types of errors these dialogues can generate. Its general knowledge is impeccable. It can recognize patterns found in multiple online texts, and it sounds like an authority when it communicates. But if you wanted to know how to build a rocket engine, for example, while it might provide you with a confident ten-page, step-by-step guide, without being a rocket engineer, you wouldn’t notice the inevitable mistakes and contradictions that are being made along the way. 

In our own experiments with ChatGPT, we found that it’s impressive when it comes to generating surprisingly detailed content, but also requires a large degree of human intervention. It can struggle with context. At this stage, you still need to add the nuance that only a person invested in the subject matter can provide.  

That’s not to say that this isn’t exceptional, innovative tech. In the right context, and with further development, ChatGPT has the capability and the potential to develop into an indispensable tool. But where and how, and whether it will be embraced in a way that makes teams more productive remains to be seen.  

Even though we’re not recommending a total system overhaul just yet, the rise of more accessible artificial intelligence has shaken things up and has brought about a change that will affect everyone in the future. A future that will provide both new challenges and new opportunities.