The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life.
John F. Kennedy
Humans have mastered lots of things that have transformed our lives, created our civilizations, and might ultimately kill us all. This year we’ve invented one more.
We were very, very wrong.
(Another troubling potential of ChatGPT is its ability to manipulate people into beliefs that aren’t true. While ChatGPT “sounds really smart,” at times it simply makes up things and it can convince you of something even when the facts aren’t correct. We’ve seen this effect in social media when it was people who were manipulating beliefs. We can’t predict where an AI with emergent behaviors may decide to take these conservations.)
But that’s not all.
Should you care? Should you worry?
First, you should definitely care.
Over the last 50 years I’ve been lucky enough to have been present at the creation of the first microprocessors, the first personal computers, and the first enterprise web applications. I’ve lived through the revolutions in telecom, life sciences, social media, etc., and watched as new industries, markets and customers created literally overnight. With ChatGPT I might be seeing one more.
Nuclear weapons and genetic engineering had advocates for unlimited experimentation and unfettered controls. “Let the science go where it will.” Yet even these minimal controls have kept the world safe for 75 years from potential catastrophes.
Welcome to our brave new world.