AI Will Lead to More of What We Don’t Want
AI has become an incredibly powerful tool that scours the web and databases to provide accurate answers to questions. But where do we draw the line in business?
ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence (AI) program developed and offered by the company OpenAI, is all the rage. The program allows users to ask questions in natural language, just as you’d pose a question to a person, and get a natural-language response. You can even ask the program to do things for you, like write an essay or software code. The functionality is incredible, but we run the risk of not considering the flip side or context of the questions we pose. This isn’t Google. ChatGPT doesn’t return a list of articles, sites, or papers that discuss a topic, instead it directly answers a question.
Below is an example of a question I asked of ChatGPT, along with the answer.
What are the benefits of modular nuclear reactors?
Modular nuclear reactors offer several benefits including:
Scalability: Modular reactors can be manufactured in factories and transported to the site, allowing for flexible and scalable deployment.
Cost-effectiveness: Mass production of components in factories can lead to reduced costs and improved efficiency compared to traditional nuclear reactors.
Improved safety: The smaller size and simpler design of modular reactors can reduce the risk of failure, and the containment structure can be designed to withstand natural disasters and accidents.
Enhanced Sustainability: Modular reactors can be designed to use less fuel and generate less waste than traditional reactors, leading to a more sustainable energy generation.
Remote Deployment: Modular reactors can be deployed in remote locations with limited infrastructure, providing access to electricity and heat in areas where it is difficult to build traditional large-scale power plants.
Flexibility: Modular reactors can be used for a variety of applications including electricity generation, water desalination, and process heat for industrial purposes.
I could have asked for the drawbacks of modular nuclear reactors, or a list of both. But in today’s polarized society, I think it’s likely that many people will use ChatGPT to thicken the walls of their echo chambers instead of build bridges to those with different opinions, and that’s just the beginning.
College administrators are shaking in their shoes about ChatGPT because the responses are well written. As an undergrad, imagine being able to ask ChatGPT to write a 1,000-word paper on the Great Depression, and have the output be good enough to turn in! Professors likely will combat this in part by requiring students to write some essays in class, but long research papers don’t lend themselves to that. ChatGPT has released a tool that tries to spot papers written through AI, but the company concedes it doesn’t do a good job.
For those of us not in academia, we’re about to be flooded with marketing messages that companies don’t have to write. Instead of employing copy editors, all you need to do is ask ChatGPT to bang out an article, then post it on your website or send it out. I asked ChatGPT to write a 250-word article on why annuities are good for investors, and here is what came back in a matter of seconds:
Annuities are investment products that provide a guaranteed stream of income for a specified period of time, typically in retirement. They are an attractive option for investors who are looking for a reliable source of income and peace of mind in their later years.
One of the biggest benefits of annuities is the guaranteed income they provide. Unlike stocks, bonds, or mutual funds, which can fluctuate in value, annuities provide a predictable income stream that cannot be outlived. This means that an investor can be confident that they will have a steady source of income, regardless of market conditions.
Annuities also offer tax advantages. Many annuities are tax-deferred, which means that the investor does not have to pay taxes on the growth of their investment until they begin to receive income. This can result in significant tax savings, especially for those who are in a higher tax bracket.
Another advantage of annuities is that they can provide a hedge against inflation. As the cost-of-living increases over time, the income from an annuity can be adjusted to keep pace with inflation. This helps to ensure that the investor's purchasing power does not decline as they age.
Furthermore, annuities can provide a sense of security for investors. Unlike other investment products, annuities are insured, which means that the investor's principal is protected in the event of the insurance company's failure. This provides peace of mind and a sense of security that is difficult to find with other investment products.
In conclusion, annuities are a great option for investors who are looking for a reliable source of income, tax advantages, inflation protection, and peace of mind. With their guaranteed income stream, annuities can provide financial security in retirement and help investors to live the retirement they have always dreamed of.
Granted, the program returned a 299-word article instead of limiting it to 250 words, but that’s still pretty impressive.
Marketing groups test messages by sending different copy to a small number of their target market, then using the one that created the most engagement for the rest of the list. To do this, you must first have several iterations of the marketing pitch, which GPT can spit out in seconds. This will make email marketing even easier as it removes, or at least diminishes, one of the big costs, the writers. Unfortunately, that means more marketing aimed at consumers, the exact thing most of us don’t want.
I’m not knocking AI in general, or even ChatGPT specifically. I see great uses for assimilating data quickly in an easy-to-read format that can be used for everything from customer service to propagating background webpages. But it’s called “artificial” intelligence for a reason. The program cannot think in the literal sense. The answers provided by ChatGPT represent a mash up of what it finds online, not original analysis or forecasting. We will do well to remember its limitations, and to be on the lookout for ramped up marketing from many corners of the web.
Written by Rodney Johnson The Rodney Johnson Report