Tuesday, January 2, 2024


Since the advent of ChatGPT as a potentially game changing tool,  a lot has been written on how it might kill content creation as we know it. After using ChatGPT for a few weeks, I got to observe its enormous potential to revolutionize the expression of creativity, particularly in the realm of writing &, at the same time, also got exposed to some of its shortcomings.

Two recent news items (link in comments) that caught my attention were-
First, NYC bans the ChatGPT in schools amid fears of a new cheating threat & Second, rather ironically, Top AI conference bans use of ChatGPT and AI language tools to write academic papers.

Whenever I read about resistance to adoption of new technology, I am reminded of the evolution that the sport of Chess has seen in the last 2-3 decades. Gary Kasparov outlines this beautifully in his book- Deep Thinking.

In the mid 80s, Gary took on the computers and beat them easily. Computers continued to become better and by 1997 Gary was beaten by IBM supercomputer- Deep Blue. It raised fears in the minds of Chess traditionalists that technology will eat their sport. Fast forward to today, most modern players (including Magnus Carlsen) use computers to get better at their game. The growing popularity of Chess.com (2022 numbers: 100 million members, ~$100 million revenue) validates the role technology is playing in the evolution of chess.

Will Generative AI tech like ChatGPT also evolve from ‘Human vs machine’ battle to ‘Human with machine’ synergy? If the evolution of chess is any indication to go by, this journey might happen sooner than later for writing too.

I tested this hypothesis with a writing framework that I often use.

My sketchnote here talks about the MACJ framework adapted from the book- “HBR Guide to Better Business Writing”. In my experiments, I found the role ChatGPT played varied in each of the listed phases-

-Madman phase: You are the initiator of ideas but feeding in the right prompts to ChatGPT can help generate ideas at scale. You can then curate the ideas

-Architect phase: ChatGPT can augment your efforts in suggesting an outline but being a tool it will not know your context perfectly

-Carpenter phase: ChatGPT can help with weaving the words. But again, the words have no meaning without context. You need to shape the writing

-Judge phase: You own the edit phase. Humans will do a better job in ensuring context alignment

Based on these experiments, I would argue- ChatGPT (as it improves in the future versions) can become an extended brain but it won't replace your brain.

What do you think?

Final thought, I quite liked Paul Graham's recent tweet-
“If AI saves people from having to write, it will also save them from having the ideas that writing engenders.”

The role of writing goes beyond it being a medium of expression, it is a thinking tool that will continue to evolve and AI tools like ChatGPT will play a role in extending human skills. hashtagchatgpt

LinkedIn post: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/anujmagazine_chatgpt-activity-7019115229141762048--Tj8/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop

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