Farhad Monjoo, a leading tech columnist at the the New York Times, writes today that ChatGPT is already changing how he does his job.
And in a bigger sense just how ChatGPT represents a creeping sense of possibility.
Only a few times in my life have I experienced this creeping sense of possibility with a new technology. The last time was the iPhone; the others were probably Google search and the internet itself. All these were groundbreaking at the start, but none of them changed anything overnight. Instead, what was most compelling was how easy it was to imagine them becoming more and more useful to more and more people. Five years after Apple unveiled the iPhone, there seemed to be an app for everything, and nearly half of American adults owned a smartphone; five years after that, just over three-quarters did, and it was hard to think of anything smartphones hadn’t changed.
ChatGPT feels similarly big. It’s been less than five months since the artificial intelligence company OpenAI released its chatbot. ChatGPT is far from perfect; OpenAI continues to refer to it as a “research preview.” Still, as my colleagues at The Upshot documented recently, doctors, software engineers, fiction writers, stay-at-home parents and many others have already begun to rely on A.I. for important tasks.
Here’s just of the ways Manjoo has been using ChatGPT as a writer.
- Word finding by helping find the perfect word or phrase when he’s stuck.
- Getting unstuck that can overcome routine stumbling blocks in writing.
- To summarize long news stories or articles, quickly and reliably, but caution must be exercised as ChatGPT is known to make mistakes. I used GPT-4 to summarize a portion of Monjoo’s article.
- Generating headline ideas or interview questions.
Writers, bloggers and publishers using ChatGPT should be feeling a a creeping sense of possibility. ChatGPT is already changing the way we do work.