Progress has no patience. I recall my dad with his slide ruler. One day, he came home talking about a new invention called a calculator. Despite its limited functions of only being able to add, subtract, multiply and divide, he saw it as a passing trend, worrying that it would make people at school less intelligent and more reliant.
Little did he know, this “fad” would become a revolution of the 1970s. The 1980s brought us the personal computer, while the 1990s introduced the World Wide Web, and the iPod.
The 2000s saw the rise of the iPhone, YouTube, Facebook and the cell phone camera. By the 2010s, this thing called “privacy,” was dead.
Jumping to 2023, I want to explain two terms. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). AI is the demonstration of intelligence by machines, as opposed to humans and animals. (ML) is the study of building methods that can improve performance on tasks by using data. To further explain this, ask your phone or Alexa.
In November, a company by the name of OpenAI launched “ChatGPT” and it quickly gained popularity, with over a million subscribers in just five days. It is seen as a major disruptor in the information revolution.
For reference, it took Facebook about a year to reach that.
Last week, I set up a free account for ChatGPT to help me write this article:
Me: “Write a 300 word article for a newspaper about how communication forms have changed since the beginning of cave men and how ChatGPT and AI is a new change but we as humans have always evolved in different ways to communicate for clarity and speed.”
Within 30 seconds, ChatGPT’s response:
“Communication has come a long way since the days of cavemen. From simple grunts and gestures to written language and advanced technologies like ChatGPT and AI the way we communicate has continuously evolved to meet our needs for clarity and speed.
In the beginning, cavemen communicated through simple grunts and gestures, which were limited in their ability to convey complex ideas. As human civilization developed, so did the forms of communication. The invention of written language, such as hieroglyphics and cuneiform, allowed for more detailed and accurate communication. This was followed by the invention of the printing press, which revolutionized the way information was disseminated, making it more accessible to the masses.
With the advent of the digital age, communication forms have undergone yet another transformation. The internet and social media have made it easier than ever to connect with people from all over the world, and new technologies like ChatGPT and AI have introduced new possibilities for communication. ChatGPT, for example, is a powerful language model that can understand and respond to natural language inputs, providing more natural and human-like interactions.
But as technology has changed, so too have the ways in which we communicate. The rise of text messaging, instant messaging, and social media has made it easier for people to communicate quickly and easily, but it has also led to a decrease in face-to-face communication and an increase in misunderstandings due to the lack of nonverbal cues.
Despite these changes, one thing remains constant: the human desire for clarity and speed in communication. From cavemen to the present day, we have always sought ways to communicate more effectively and efficiently. And as technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more advancements in the way we communicate in the future.”
Me: “How will chat GPT change the job market in the next five years?”
ChatGPT: “ChatGPT and other AI language models are likely to have a significant impact on the job market in the next five years by automating many tasks that previously required human labor, especially in industries such as customer service, journalism, and data entry. At the same time, there will likely be new job opportunities created in areas such as AI development, management, and ethics. However, it is important to note that the exact effects of AI on the job market are difficult to predict and will depend on factors such as the pace of technological advancement, government policies, and the willingness of workers to adapt to new technologies.”
The U.S. has been in an information revolution since the invention of Morse Code. Today, our smartphones provide us with voice, data and video communications. It also provides music, navigation, Hollywood film quality, a mobile newsroom, entertainment, financing and a platform for the mobile office.
The use of language models such as ChatGPT raises concerns of potential cheating in the education system. As the model can generate text based on prompts, students may use it to generate answers to questions they do not know. Educators need to consider changing their teaching methods to encourage critical thinking and correct question-asking. Currently, AI is not advanced enough to provide reliable answers, but this may change in the future.
The CEO of Microsoft said they have already invested $1 billion into ChatGPT, with plans to integrate it into their applications. He also said they plan on investing up to $10 billion. The CEO believes the job market will shift, but it’s unclear who will adapt and who won’t.
How do educators stop students from using AI? I don’t think they will. It is probably hopeless because it answers questions based on how you ask the question and how the user refines its responses with each iteration, making it difficult to stop its use in education.
AI platforms like ChatGPT have the potential to enhance learning for anyone with basic knowledge by providing answers to questions. These platforms, along with Google, YouTube, and social media sites, can be used as a source of information and knowledge sharing.
Henry Ford had an eighth grade education.
Me: “What did Henry Ford say about a 6 grade education?”
ChatGPT: “‘Why is it every time I ask for a pair of hands, they come with a brain attached?’ He went on to say that he preferred workers with a sixth-grade education because they were trained enough to read and write, but not so much that they thought they knew everything and were difficult to train. In other words, Ford valued practical skills and a willingness to learn and adapt more than a high level of formal education.”
Author's Footnote: For this article, I used a Macbook Pro, Microsoft Word, Google, YouTube, the internet, ChatGPT, Grammarly, Alexa, a master’s degree, and 20 years of experience in IT. At no time did I use the Dewey Decimal System.