Across the world, people are concerned about the possibility that generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Bing, and Bard will take their job away. But the fear isn’t just about being supplanted by software that can write better or faster than humans. Those worried are also afraid that if generative AI is allowed to display too much personality, it could be used for malicious purposes. That’s a concern raised when bots have shown signs of feeling and emotion, threatened researchers who tried to test their limits, or even gotten involved in sexually suggestive conversations.
The latest controversy emerging about generative AI involves the infamously sloppy chatbot ChatGPT, which freelance writers use to produce impressive-sounding marketing articles. One copywriter, who was laid off without explanation, claims that she was replaced by the tool. She has now become a dog walker.
When ChatGPT was first released in November 2022, it was widely praised for generating text at scale and for its ability to cite sources. But as more and more companies began using the software, questions about its reliability were raised. In March, a tech writer for the New York Times wrote that she was shocked when her boss sent her a ChatGPT-written article to review. The bot could assemble the article in less than 30 seconds and copy it from another source.
Soon, writers who feared being supplanted by ChatGPT began to use it for their work. For example, a career coach was so impressed by the bot’s writing ability that she asked it for advice on a hypothetical salary negotiation. The bot told her to follow the tips it gave her, and she would likely get a raise.
Several freelancing writers have also begun using generative AI tools like ChatGPT to help them produce content for clients. But some are also concerned that their competitors will start using the tools and that they will be left behind. That’s especially true if the bots can do their work more cheaply than them.
While some believe that generative AI is just more hype, others think the technology is accurate and could threaten humanity. They argue that the bots could perpetuate harmful biases, be used by scammers, spit out misinformation and replace humans in jobs where they are unneeded or obsolete. In the future, some worry that generative AI could take over every aspect of society and lead to a dystopian world where we are forced to live in VR simulations or face a robot apocalypse. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, it’s clear that we need to be careful about how we implement and develop this new technology. Otherwise, we could be squandering a vast resource of talent. This is why many people, including some of the world’s most accomplished engineers and scientists, are taking steps to limit the influence of these bots.