It seems like everyone is talking about ChatGPT Open AI these days. (link below) Some people are excited about the possibilities of AI making life easier while others are terrified it will make them obsolete. So which is it?
The truth is that it’s something in-between. I’ve been working in tech and writing code for over 20 years. I’m also a child of the ’70s so I’ve seen a lot of technology come and go over that time.
I’m old enough to remember corded phones with rotary dials. Then push buttons came along and we were all blown away by the speed at which we could dial without the worry of our finger getting smashed in the rotary dialer. (Yes, it was actually a thing back then.)
When cordless phones came along it was like magic! No cord? How was this even possible? No more teenagers running cords around the house so they could have a private conversation away from mom and dad.
Then came personal computers with green screens. Remember those? They really took off when they suddenly had the ability to have color and connect to the world wide web. We sat in awe as a picture loaded line by line over a matter of minutes. It was revolutionary!
Eventually, cell phones came along and changed everything again on multiple fronts with portability, texting, apps, etc. My long-winded point is that as technology evolves, so do our interactions with it. The way we view it, the way we use it, and how it impacts our lives are ever-evolving.
I recently saw a report about automotive line workers who were replaced by automation and robots. Those lost jobs were replaced by higher-tech jobs for the people needed to maintain the equipment. Obviously, not all of the original workers adapted to the new norm, but some did. Others moved on to something different.
The most important thing we must all remember is adaptability going forward. Regardless of your skillsets, industry, background, or career path, you must be constantly prepared to adapt and evolve. If anything the world is speeding up and our need to be flexible is becoming more and more crucial.
As most developers do, I’m always expanding my knowledge base by learning new open-source software packages. I recently started learning about a software package that is designed to scaffold new programming projects by eliminating a lot of the mundane and repetitive setup work we all go through when creating a new website.
Scaffolding a website is similar to a new house being built. The land has to be leveled, water and power lines brought into the neighborhood, a cement foundation must be poured, and a frame must be put up. Then walls, indoor plumbing, electrical, fixtures, flooring, windows, paint, etc. all come in stages.
With web development, you take a similar approach. You register a domain name, tie it into a web server, and set up all the needed parts. Some platforms take care of a lot of that for you, but they have their limitations. The more involved your project is, the less likely the out-of-the-box solutions are going to work for you. In those cases, you will need someone like me.
My Experience With AI
While learning this new open-source software, I began to have questions as anyone learning a new skill set would. Initially, I turned to Google and found myself wading through 5-10 pages of search results trying to find the answer to my original question or curiosity. It was a slow and frustrating experience.
As an example, I wanted to know if this language had a certain type of security built in to prevent malicious (hacker types) code injection when interacting with the database. The search results were across the board and mostly too ambiguous to actually answer my real question.
So, I decided I would start running some tests with AI instead to see just how good it is. Not only were the answers much more targeted to my actual questions, but they didn’t require me to wade through a full page of text that wasn’t relevant to my question just to find that gem of an answer.
In addition, I was able to ask follow-up questions like I was having a conversation with another programmer who already knew the package thoroughly. I’ve always found it frustrating with Google, that I’d have to reword the question or copy and paste the original question with some edits to dial it in better. With ChatGPT, you simply ask the follow-up as you would to a real person and it remembers what you were already talking about. I’ve had entire conversations with it and it is so much more efficient and relevant than any search.
Honestly, I didn’t quite expect the results I got. I was blown away by the interactions on multiple levels, but I also see the limitations. At least with the current generation AI. It’s certainly not perfect and its base knowledge only goes up until a point in 2021. That said, it is an amazing tool that I’m sold on. Google still has its place, but I will likely be using ChatGPT far more than it going forward. Although, in the last few days I read Google is coming out with their own AI soon, so it’ll be interesting to compare them side by side when they do. Maybe they will win me back over, maybe not.
What Does AI Think About All This?
As a fun little demonstration of its abilities, I told ChatGPT I was writing this piece and asked it to give me some material for the article. Here is what it responded with:
“AI and technology have the potential to greatly enhance and improve many aspects of our lives, including increased efficiency and productivity in various industries, access to vast amounts of information, and the development of new and innovative solutions to complex problems.
However, it is true that the increasing use of AI in the workplace may result in job loss for some individuals, as machines and algorithms are able to perform tasks that were previously performed by humans. This can be especially impactful for low-skill jobs, but it has also been seen that automation has created new jobs in the technology and related sectors.
The key to successfully navigating the impact of AI on employment is to focus on reskilling and upskilling the workforce. This means helping people to acquire new skills and knowledge that will allow them to perform tasks that cannot be automated and to take advantage of new job opportunities in fields such as data science, machine learning, and software engineering.
Overall, while AI may displace certain jobs, it has the potential to greatly improve our lives and create new job opportunities, particularly for those with the right skills and training. Embracing the changes brought by AI and investing in education and reskilling programs will be important for ensuring a positive future for workers in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.”
That response is detailed, nuanced, insightful, and written in a clear easily understood tone. I for one am sold on AI and look forward to where it’s all heading. That said, when it becomes self-aware is when I will start to get a little nervous about it taking over. Then again, maybe it would do a better job of running things than humans anyway.
Thank you for reading and I hope you found this article informative. Try the AI out for yourself, here’s the link: https://chat.openai.com/chat.
If you’d like to know what I’m working on currently… Our next big project is https://Bizity.com. (not public yet) We should be releasing the beta version within weeks, so feel free to get on the beta wait list now. https://netsysinteractive.com/services/bizity-beta.html
Want to network with me? Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. And if you ever need custom programming for database-driven websites, member portals, unique functionality, non-out-of-the-box interfaces, e-commerce, etc., feel free to reach out through LinkedIn or via our corporate site https://netsysinteractive.com.