I suck at opening blog posts or papers or anything, so I posted my problem to the new tool ChatGPT a question.
I need an opening paragraph to a blog post titled "The Coming Acceleration" that covers information about how ChatGPT and equivalent technologies are going to be the next irrigation, or assembly line level of innovation.
This was the response:
The coming acceleration in technology is upon us, and one of the driving forces behind this change is the emergence of chatbot technologies like ChatGPT. These revolutionary tools have the potential to revolutionize the way we work and communicate, much like the irrigation system and the assembly line did in their respective eras. With their ability to process and analyze vast amounts of data in real-time, chatbots like ChatGPT are poised to become the next big thing in the tech world, and their impact will be felt across a wide range of industries. Whether you're a business owner, a developer, or simply someone who is interested in the future of technology, it's important to understand the role that chatbots like ChatGPT will play in shaping our world.
THAT WHOLE PARAGRAPH WAS WRITTEN IN SECONDS BY CHATGPT!
It's not very often I get excessively excited. BUT this keeps me up at night (hence why I've decided to write this lengthy blog post).
If you haven't heard of ChatGPT by now, that's fine. Most people are going to call it Artificial Intelligence (AI), although technically it's not. It's a program you can talk to and it responses as close as it can as a human.
For those unfamiliar, think of it like Alexa, but on steroids. Alexa searches the web for your question, and then reads the result for you. However Alexa can't really create new content. ChatGPT can't currently browse the internet, but it CAN create content.
So I asked it to write that paragraph above, and it did. Alexa couldn't do that.
You can ask it to write programs. Here's what I just asked:
Can you write a python program that renames all my pictures to include the date it was created to the end of the filename in ()?
I didn't test the code as this was just an example for this blog post, but from what I can see that code would work perfectly. And because ChatGPT understands the concept of a conversation, I could say "Can you update it to be recursive?" And it would update the code to be recursive!!
I've read history books on the coming up of a lot of technology companies that run the world today. I get goosebumps sometimes with those stories.
- How Ford's assembly line has made abundance of physical products the norm (covid supply shortages not withstanding).
- How Microsoft succeeded in getting a computer in every home.
- How Google has made information easily available to everyone.
I've also seen some things come that would change our world, and was an early adopter. I had the first iPhone because I knew it would be a seriously powerful tool, and that everyone would be getting a similar phone. I invested in Netflix as soon as I started to invest in the stock market because I knew streaming movies would be the future.
I've never actually read much of anything about irrigation, or the advancements of farming so that instead of 95% of people having to farm, today farmers are few and far between.
However I know that because humans haven't had to focus on farming, we've been able to build and do so much more.
I've also never really read anything on the industrial revolution, but I know that it too has freed up humans and gave humans resources beyond imagining before the revolution.
ChatGPT, and equivalent tools and technologies is the beginning of the next massive acceleration in human society. As a computer software technology person, that's where I can mainly see the benefits, but I know there's a lot more.
Recently I also learned about GitHub Copilot. This is like an advanced version of autocomplete for programmers, and kind of does like what ChatGPT did above, where you say in a single English line what you want a program or function to do, and the Copilot writes it for you.
ChatGPT, GitHub Copilot, and other similar technologies are still in their very primitive states. But these tools and advancements are going to lead to faster development and creation of so much more.
It reminds me of general hand tools. The first hand tools were rocks, which then shaped other rocks, which then helped make hand tools, which then helped make power tools, etc. We build tools that end up building the next evolutionary tool, and so on, until we get something truly revolutionary.
These machine models, or Artificial Intelligence as I'm sure the public will likely call it, is that next massive innovation tool. Programmers will save so much time in software development. New ideas will be sprouted, content creators, advertisers, and so many professions are going to be reformed with this new tool.
We've seen things really advance with technology in the last 20 years since the dot com boom, but that acceleration will seem flat compared to the hockey stick we're about to go through.
There have also been a lot of people that are afraid of models like this removing jobs. It's true, jobs will be eliminated, just like a power drill eliminated several construction jobs as a single person could get more done faster; just like the traffic light eliminated traffic officers; just like copy/paste eliminated carbon copy typists. So many more examples with technology changes. Blockbuster, Sears, and Newsletters are massively known recent jobs lost caused by new technology.
So yes, like any new technology, especially one this big, is going to eliminate jobs. And yes, just like any massive new revolutionary technology, this is going to create more jobs then can be filled that we can't even imagine today.
It's still going to take some time for adoption, bug fixes, enhancements and such. But this is the tool, this is the point, that will go down in the history books like irrigation, industrial revolution, assembly line, and microprocessor. It may not be ChatGPT or OpenAI that goes down and is what we all remember (who remembers AltaVista, predecessor to Google? Or FairChild, predecessor to Intel?) But I don't know how to explain just how big of a leap this will be.
I know not all of my examples completely make sense, and this is a late night write-up so I'm sure there's some oddities. If you're confused though, you've got to try it out and see it as a tool that will accelerate our world.
If you haven't tried it, here's the link: