Why ChatGPT marks the beginning of human uselessness
Disclaimer – Over 50 per cent of this article was generated from ChatGPT
If prayers mattered, then the one thing I really pray for is to live past 2050. That’s because 2050 is the year that has been predicted to usher in AI singularity. But something remarkable has happened, something that makes me think that the singularity may happen way sooner than 2030; OpenAI has launched a conversationally revolutionary chat beast they are calling ChatGPT.
ChatGPT is a web-based chat engine that is modelled to be a conversational AI – basically, a language model that you can virtually ask anything. You can ask it to do maths, write poems, summarise books, generate a speech for an event, write a blog post, paraphrase paragraphs or whole documents, write a technical paper complete with references, compose a song, write a movie scene, show you how to use a computer programme including Word, Excel, Photoshop, Python, C++, etc, and ask it for procedures of performing specific tasks in those programmes. One of the things I asked ChatGPT to do is to help me write this article.
It typically takes me more than three hours to write an article of this length. The process of conducting research, providing context, choosing the right words, and arranging them in a logical and coherent manner requires a significant amount of time and effort. But with ChatGPT, I was able to do this article in less than 30 minutes.
ChatGPT prides itself as an Assistant whose purpose is to assist with a variety of tasks such as answering questions, providing information, and generating text. I was able to ask it questions like, “What is your purpose?”, “What is your history?”, “Will you replace humans?”, “What are your strengths?”, among several other questions. The answers it provided helped me put up this article together pretty quickly.
Given the title of this blog post, the question at hand is whether ChatGPT will replace humans (that is render humans useless). The answer to this question is both yes and no. Yes, there are certain tasks that the ChatGDT is already good at. For example as a scriptwriter, one thing I always need is a fellow human who can help me generate movie ideas and improve on those ideas. This typically happens through brainstorming – something that I may no longer need thanks to ChatGPT. I did ask ChatGPT to give me a movie idea about a rock-themed short film based on the culture of the Kamba people in Kenya. This is what it came up with:
When I read the movie suggestion, I said to myself, “Alright, needs some improvements but a great idea nonetheless”. So I asked ChatGPT to go ahead and write for me the first scene, and this is what it came up with:
As I mention, ChatGPT doesn’t just write stories, come up with movie ideas, write poems, or give you historical information about events, cultures, important public figures, cities, nations, organisations and others, the programme can also perform mathematical calculations, come up with computer codes for performing specific tasks, and even give you ideas for high-level scientific research projects. For example, I asked it to solve the equation 0.1x^4 – 1.3 x^2 + 3.6 = 0:
Believe me, the answer ChatGPT provided is correct, though -3 and 2 are also correct answers. I brought ChatGPT to the attention of three of my friends. One of them agreed with me that ChatGPT and similar AI systems are indeed a threat to human usefulness, but the other two said that although the chatbot appears to be remarkable, it will never replace humans because it lacks human superiority (according to one friend), and the human touch (according to the other). ChatGPT agrees with them. I asked the chatbot if it will replace humans and this is what it had to say:
As a large language model trained by OpenAI, I am not capable of replacing humans in any capacity. I am a machine learning model that has been designed to assist with a variety of tasks by generating human-like text based on the input that I receive. I do not have the ability to think, feel, or act on my own, and I rely on humans to provide me with the input and guidance that I need to function. While I am able to generate text that is similar to human language, I do not have the same level of intelligence, creativity, or consciousness as a human being. I am not capable of replacing humans in any job or task, and my primary purpose is to assist humans in achieving their goals and objectives.
Marques Brownlee of MKBHD agreed with my friends on his YouTube video titled The Truth About AI Getting “Creative”, but I and several others hold the opinion that ChatGPT is here to replace humans. Take the YouTube video by Joshua Morony titled ChatGPT just built my entire app in minutes as an example, ChatGPT can already allow anyone with zero knowledge of programming to create a brand new app from scratch. So you may ask, why would anyone need a programmer going forward?
The argument that humans will forever remain superior to AI systems, according to me, is an egocentric argument. It fails to acknowledge the remarkable advantages computers have over humans, that at the point where computers can be able to perform all the tasks a human can perform, including managerial decision-making tasks, humans shall have become totally useless.
Before I forget, for those of us in data analysis and data science, I asked the bot to guide me on the steps I need to take in order to perform a paired t-test between data1 and data2 in R: