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Article Summary:

Shep Hyken, customer service and CX expert shares insights on three of the top fears surrounding Generative AI and ChatGPT. He debunks the myth that artificial intelligence (AI) will take over the world, cause mass unemployment, or diminish human intelligence. #AI #ArtificialIntelligence #Claud #Bard 

Generative AI and ChatGPT Fears and Apprehensions

I’ve been paying close attention to one of the most significant game-changing technologies to make a global impact since the invention of the Internet, and that’s generative AI fueling ChatGPT, Google Bard, Bing Chat, Claud, and many other similar technologies. I’ve been writing about this for the past year, and now it’s time to make a formal statement about some of the opportunities and fears around often-loved and sometimes-feared technology.

How big is AI? Consider what Google CEO Sundar Pichai has to say about AI. “Artificial intelligence technology will be the biggest technological shift in our lifetimes and might even turn out to be bigger than the internet itself.” He also said, “I’ve always thought of AI as the most profound technology humanity is working on—more profound than fire or electricity or anything that we’ve done in the past.”

Does it get any bigger than that?

Before we go further, for simplicity, let’s use ChatGPT as the name to describe any of these technologies. It’s like asking for Kleenex and getting a different brand of tissue – or saying, “FedEx this package,” when you really mean overnight it, and you don’t care what company you use to do it. So, ChatGPT will be the name to represent all the similar platforms.

Here is what I want to cover:

  • AI or ChatGPT will not take over the world.
  • AI will not cause mass unemployment.
  • AI will not make us stupid.
Generative AI and ChatGPT

AI Taking Over the World – The Reality Behind the Fear

Let’s start with the first concern: Will AI or ChatGPT take over the world? Here’s the short answer: NO! Computers are undoubtedly more powerful than humans when solving equations or problems, but there is a difference between being more powerful and being more capable. While AI can crunch numbers and look at a massive amount of data in a split second, its information is devoid of emotion, empathy, and compassion. A customer support agent can use AI and ChatGPT at their desk to get answers and better support customers. Agent-assisted AI is a big part of what’s to come. So, where is all the concern and fear coming from?

In 2017 I wrote a Forbes Column titled, Will AI Take Over the World?, featuring Will Smith’s science-fiction movie I, Robot. Like today, the scary part of the movie is that the machines would take over, no longer listening to humans. You can go back as far as 1968 when Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey (written by Arthur C Clarke) introduced Hal 9000, a computer that turned hostile because it disagreed with a conversation it overheard between two space crew members. Hollywood paints a vividly scary version of AI. That’s science fiction, with an emphasis on the word fiction. So far, despite the fears Hollywood may have caused, technology has not been able to take over the world or replace humans.

AI and Job Displacement: A Reality Check

Next, there is another fear: Will AI or ChatGPT cause mass unemployment? Again, the short answer is NO! Sure, there will be a displacement of jobs, which happens with many new technologies. Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs economists predicted that generative AI tools could impact 300 million full-time jobs, leading to significant employment disruption. The important word here is disruption, which is not even close to elimination. The 300 million number represents about 10% of employed workers. Many of them will find jobs elsewhere. New technologies often strike fear in those who fight innovation and change. In 1967, Barclays Bank introduced the first ATM. Many predicted that it would eliminate bank teller jobs. I don’t know about you, but every bank I walk into today has tellers, even if there is an ATM outside the bank. And to that point, MTV introduced music videos in 1981. The first music video ever broadcast on MTV was Video Killed the Radio Star by the Buggles. Did video kill the radio star? No! And AI and Chat GPT will not massively kill jobs.

The Impact of AI on Human Intelligence

And the final fear: Will AI or ChatGPT make us stupid? I remember when calculators came out when I was a kid. “They” (supposed experts) said kids wouldn’t learn basic math and be reliant on calculators to do what had to be done manually in the past. Eventually, our teachers allowed us to use the calculators, but even though they gave us the correct answers, we still had to know what to do with the answers. No, calculators didn’t make us stupid. They made us more productive and efficient. It’s the same with AI and ChatGPT-type technologies. They won’t make us stupid. Like calculators, they will make us more productive, efficient, and even more effective.

Are there other concerns? Sure, but that’s the same with every new technology. There will almost always be a concern over disruption with innovation and new products. The choice is to embrace it or fear it. I choose to embrace it, and as we navigate a new world that includes generative AI and platforms like ChatGPT, let’s focus on maximizing their potential for improving efficiency. Embracing this technology responsibly can pave the way for unprecedented advancements and efficiencies, not just in customer service, but in all areas of our lives.

Let’s close with a quote (with numerous attributions) that ties into these three concepts: AI won’t replace humans. It will replace humans that don’t use AI.

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