We Asked ChatGPT If It’ll Make Us Jobless

CareerMarch 15, 2023 16:00

ChatGPT is all the rage right now. Got a question? Ask ChatGPT! Developed by OpenAI and launched in 2022, the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot has astounded millions across the globe with its ability to interact conversationally and sound human-like.

Besides gaining more than 1 million users within the first week of its launch, ChatGPT has numerous achievements under its belt. ChatGPT managed to pass the United States Medical Licensing Exam as well as the final exam for Wharton School’s MBA program—although it failed Singapore’s notoriously difficult PSLE.

Will ChatGPT make us jobless?

A natural language processing tool powered by AI technology, ChatGPT has proven itself capable in multiple domains. It can translate text into a different language just as easily as it can write and debug code. The question that inevitably looms at the back of our minds is, will ChatGPT render certain jobs—or even sectors—redundant?

Concerned, we posed that question to ChatGPT. Here’s its answer: “As an AI language model, my purpose is not to replace humans, but to assist them in their work and help them to be more productive and efficient. I am a tool that can be used to automate certain tasks and provide quick and accurate answers to common questions, freeing up time for humans to focus on more complex and creative work.

Ultimately, the relationship between AI and human workers will continue to evolve over time, and it is up to us as a society to shape this relationship in a way that maximises the benefits of these technologies while minimising their potential negative impacts.” How reassuring!

Limitations of ChatGPT

We agree with ChatGPT’s conclusion. Leaving aside ChatGPT’s intended purpose, the AI chatbot is simply not able to replace human workers at this point of time. ChatGPT’s knowledge is limited to whatever is contained within its training dataset. While the size of its dataset (around 570 GB) is ginormous, there is nonetheless a stated cut-off date. ChatGPT lacks knowledge of world events past the year 2021, which means some of its answers may be outdated.

Thus, ChatGPT is not capable of new, original thought. Any new idea has to be fed to it via continuous updates. Wholly dependent on human input, it lacks ingenuity and creativity.

Moreover, OpenAI even explicitly warned that ChatGPT may occasionally give plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers. The hallucination rate for ChatGPT ranges from 15% to 20%, so don’t take every answer at face value!

The Future of Work with ChatGPT

Even as a continual work in progress, ChatGPT is here to stay. The Singapore Government announced in February 2023 that it is planning to integrate ChatGPT into Microsoft Word for up to 90,000 civil servants. It’s only a matter of time before companies follow suit.

What’s important for you is to stay relevant and up to date with the latest trends. Approach AI tools with an open and curious mind. Take an afternoon to experiment with ChatGPT; bombard the chatbot with questions on diverse topics and in a variety of formats. Be acquainted with its immense capabilities—and its technical drawbacks—firsthand.

We echo ChatGPT’s recommendation that you “adapt to the changing job market and acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to remain competitive in an increasingly automated world”. Consider utilising AI to augment your existing skillsets. For instance, if you’re a researcher, you can use ChatGPT as a handy tool to gather information.

Beyond upskilling, you can potentially pursue alternative career paths which have been created by AI. As a result of ChatGPT’s meteoric rise, a new job position has been created: prompt engineers. Their role is to formulate queries with such precise wording that the AI chatbot furnishes the most optimal answers.

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