Ajay Muliyil
Feb 15, 2023

Opinion: Barking up the wrong tree - is ChatGPT for everyone?

The repercussions are going to be felt far and wide, just like the pandemic, says the author

Ajay Muliyil
Ajay Muliyil

An honest confession, am I wasting my time even writing this article? Or should I outsource this task to ChatGPT, basically surrendering to a superior and more competent sentient and cognitive thing out there. 


Maybe I'll do that in the due course of time and thereby turn into a vegetable. That's what going to be the fate of humanity if we don't watch out. I'm sure ChatGPT and its coming avatars would not have written such a lousy copy, and instead would have given it a Shakespearean or maybe a Machiavellian touch to impress all the greenhorns out there.


Let us just rewind a bit. Was ChatGPT even known to most of us a few weeks ago? 


Probably No. Until maybe the second week of Jan 2023, its existence was limited to the people working on it. Now fast forward a few weeks into 2023, and it's pretty much the talk of the town - almost everyone seems to be taming and training the tool to do things which would put Picasso, Michelangelo, Shashi Tharoor, Salman Rushdie's of the world to shame. Midnight's Children would see daylights!


Looks like everyone is behaving like a child in the candy store or at a magic show, so excited that this genie will pop out of the magician’s hat. Voila, a 'piece of modern, super-modern and into the future art', 'a script, a brilliant essay, a well analysed and thought-provoking writeup' all with a click of the button. That's just the tip of the iceberg and the possibilities are endless. 



Did I hear a slight stutter from the big four consulting firms, the content marketing firms, research agencies, advertising, media, and PR firms, to name just a few industries which must have woken to a rude shock in a cold and wintery month? Are we going to see some shutters go down? 


The repercussions are going to be felt far and wide, just like the pandemic we got out of. Did the journalist, copywriters, teachers, analysts, and creative folks out there just feel redundant or insecure? Did you just feel like the poor David up against the mighty Goliath? He had a fighting chance, but this seems like a losing battle against a colossal monster that would keep getting bigger and smarter as time goes by. Seems like a Game, Set and Match. Kaput! But hold on and read on. 


Mankind seems to be obsessed with figuring out G.O.A.T across every category. The FIFA World Cup 2022 threw up a few more G.O.A.T options to the never-ending debate - Messi, CR7 and Mbappe joined the fray. Pele couldn't take it anymore and decided to depart. So, certainly, technology can't be left far behind. All this while cloud seemed like the worthy successor of big data, which made a big din a decade or so back.


Then came the Blockchain revolution and most recently the Metaverse debate. Honestly, the G.O.A.T debate could be settled with Metaverse, but then something took away its thunder. Suddenly all these seem like bygones neatly tucked away under the carpet. Seems like we have the new G.O.A.T in town - ChatGPT 4.0 which will work around 1 trillion parameters giving others a huge complex. This is an endless and futile debate, but one, nonetheless. Metaverse is surely the future, and we are still in the infancy stage, but right now the spotlight is firmly fixed on this new creature, which people are busy toying around with.


One thing is for certain, for more serious issues like malnutrition, poverty, sustainability, global warming/ climate change, caste system, international trade, gender equality, gender pay parity, pollution, data privacy, infrastructure, wealth gap, domestic violence and many such societal issues none of these G.O.A.T's will come to the rescue. 


We, humans, need to sort it out. While we marvel with our jaw wide open, brain numb and awestruck at technology, we need to remember that technology is in the end a mere enabler and can't deal with many of the human issues and challenges that need real people to connect with. 


Cognitive AI and futuristic tech can do a lot of things that can mimic humans and achieve superlative feats that are exponentially better than what we mere mortals can fathom, but no G.O.A.T. can completely displace humans. Probably our vulnerability makes us superior. 


So, while the future of work and the nature of work looks to evolve and undergo a paradigm shift, the shutters need not go down so early and nobody needs to feel insecure or redundant just yet, there is enough room for technology and humans to co-exist. Did I just hear people breathe a sigh of relief? Phew. The point is, Robotics, Automation, AI, and ML don't have to make people redundant unless that's the ulterior motive. Humans can't report to a machine. 


Machines aren't answerable or accountable. Humans are. Teamwork, collaboration, perseverance, celebration, ethics, and consciousness are things best practised and celebrated between humans.


Now, this article of mine would become fodder for ChatGPT, for someone typing, 'Is cow milk better or G.O.A.T?'. 


(The author is partner Ogilvy) 

Campaign India

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