ChatGPT was launched in late 2022, and the tech world has been buzzing since. The Harvard Business Review called it “a tipping point for AI,” and universities and editorial teams are running experiments to see “who wrote it better?”
If you haven’t heard the buzz, ChatGPT is a chatbot by OpenAI that interacts with users in a conversational way. You can try it out here.
As I was trying ChatGPT for the first time, I did what many other users were doing. I thought about old school assignments and requested that it “write me a five-paragraph essay on the industrial revolution,” and tested a more humorous question by asking it to “write me a poem about pizza.” I was amazed by both results, and started wondering about the greater applications for this technology.
When a new technology comes out, we tend to think about how it will replace something. Will students not have to write essays? Will content-creating jobs go away? But AI is not meant to be a replacement. It is meant to be a tool that can be leveraged to do things smarter and faster.
Here are four ways we should be incorporating ChatGPT into our work today:
Understand a complex topic
Have you ever asked a subject matter expert to explain something to you in as simple of terms as possible? Now, you can just ask that of ChatGPT!
By prepping for meetings using ChatGPT to help you understand a topic, you don’t have to feel nervous or maybe even embarrassed about asking a subject matter expert the same questions over and over while you try to learn.
Of course, you still want to leverage someone’s expertise, but now you can start off those conversations at a more meaningful point because you understand the basics.
Get a review from a second set of eyes
Code reviews, proofreading, sentence structure — you can copy and paste anything into ChatGPT and ask it to help you identify problem areas.
There have been many times when I am staring at code wondering where the issue is, or other times when I am rereading an email that I just drafted, over and over again, trying to make sure there are no mistakes.
ChatGPT can help you save time and be that second set of eyes when you are too close to your code or document to see a mistake.
Find inspiration when you’re staring at a blank page
Nothing is more intimidating than a blank page and an approaching deadline. By using ChatGPT, you can at least find a jumping off spot for whatever you are looking to create.
I’ve been pretty amazed with the initial draft ChatGPT can provide, in an almost instantaneous manner. Of course, it is important to remember this is just a jumping off point to help relieve some writers block, and that leads me to my final point.
Test if your ideas are novel
A limit to artificial intelligence is that the models are only as good as the data it was trained on. With ChatGPT, you can get a good initial first draft, but the answer will be generic.
For fun, I asked ChatGPT to write an article on a topic that I’ve previously written about to see how its article compared to mine. It was exactly what I expected. The results made sense, but it was not creative or novel.
Humans are good at being creative, but AI is not because it is constrained by its training data. To understand if you are contributing something new, ask ChatGPT what it would say for the same topic. You have a voice and important ideas to share with the world, so don’t let ChatGPT do all the work. Output something that couldn’t be written by AI.
ChatGPT is an exciting advancement for AI, and supports the idea that we all will start incorporating these technologies into our everyday jobs.
You can start using this tool today to understand complex topics, get a review from a second set of eyes, find inspiration when you’re staring at a blank page, and use it to test if your ideas are novel.
…and if you think ChatGPT is just a fad, this is what the tool has to say about that:
“No, ChatGPT and other large language models are not a fad. They have been developed through advances in deep learning and natural language processing and have shown to be effective in various tasks such as language generation, translation, and question-answering. The technology behind these models continues to evolve and improve, and their applications are expected to expand in the future.”