Dev Zone

Are We Going to Be Replaced by ChatGPT?


The discussion on whether we will all be replaced by technology has been going on for quite some time.

The Luddite revolution, where the English textile workers revolted against the machines replacing them, happened at the beginning of the 19th century. Horses were replaced by cars, pin boys in the bowling alleys by machines, switchboard operators by automation, and human computers—people that would do complex calculations with notebooks and pencils—by, you guessed it, computers.

So, it's only natural that, as technology evolves, we feel our jobs are being threatened.

In his TED talk, How we'll earn money in a future without jobs, Martin Ford talks about this question that has been asked time and time again. And, spoiler alert for those who haven’t watched it, the future isn’t necessarily that dark for humans.

But the birth of ChatGPT fired up that discussion again. The chat responses are incredibly accurate, and it’s astonishing (and even scary) how human-like they sound.

What’s the ChatGPT Buzz All About?

If you’ve been living under a rock, ChatGPT (short for "Generative Pre-trained Transformer") is a type of machine learning model developed by OpenAI. It is a large, deep neural network trained to generate human-like text by predicting the next word in a sequence given a prompt.

Let’s play a bit with it, shall we?

I’ll start by asking for a topic that is very dear to my heart: advantages of ChatGPT targeted to developers:

ChatGPT response to position the advantages of ChatGTP target to developers

Let’s now try the same thing for kids:

ChatGPT response to position the advantages of ChatGTP target to kids

It seems to be a rather similar response.

The system is not perfect since it basically replaced the word “developer” with “kid” and changed one or two statements.

Now, let’s try it with “dogs”.

ChatGPT response to position the advantages of ChatGTP target to dogs

Oh! So that’s kind of smart.

Let’s now try something a bit more complex:

Bubble sort function written by ChatGPT

Wow, it can even write code for you.

Moreover, you can give context to ChatGPT and teach it to solve problems. For example:

ChatGPT response with context

The AI engine keeps context, i.e., it understands we are talking about cats and dogs and assumes that Persian is a cat breed, not a language or an ethnic group. This shows us that ChatGTP can make decisions by summing up the knowledge of our conversation.

Imagine the possibilities for developing code! The sky’s the limit.

AI in Art (or Should I Say AI-rtists)

For artists, these AIs are becoming a problem.

Some painters are seeing their work and style being replicated by AI paintings. At Have I Been Trained? you can see if your images have been used to train models around the world.

Styles that were honed through years can now be replicated just by inputting “Cristiano Ronal by Edvard Munch“ (the AI can even bypass my misspelling errors) using Stable Diffusion, a text-to-image diffusion model capable of generating photo-realistic images:

Cristiano Ronaldo picture created by AI

Regarding copyrights, this can be a nightmare.

I just replicated the style of Edvard Munch without even picking up a pencil!

So should Edvard be paid for these paintings (if he was alive)? And what about Cristiano Ronaldo? Should he also be paid? You see the legal conundrum for these pieces.

So, will AI replace artists? I believe not. We will still need new artists with unique visions to break ground on new styles and ways of creating art.

Have you ever seen those animations of sorting algorithms with sound? It’s a great example of technology and art. I find them mesmerizing and soothing. The sound of the world being arranged in different manners. Just beautiful!

What About Wr-AI-ters?

Aka, content writing? I could have used ChatGPT to help me write this article—in fact, I did. The paragraph explaining what ChatGPT is was entirely provided by itself.

And you can go further. You can do entire college papers with it. So much that there was a need to develop tools to evaluate if a text was produced by AI.

But once again, there is still a need to have a human controlling, vetting, and putting some sentiment on what is produced by AI (although you can simulate sentiment by prompting “sentimental”).

It’s a very useful tool to help us in our job, just like the Dictionary assistant helps us every day by suggesting expressions and correcting words.

The ChatGPTed Future

Will AI replace us? I don’t think so.

As Martin Ford defends, some jobs might be replaced, but new jobs will be created. In a utopic future, robots will be doing our jobs, and we’ll be paid to work less. The epitome of work smarter, not harder.

Just take a look at low-code. It removes the complexity of traditional code by using a visual language. But that doesn’t mean it will replace developers. It just gives them time back to focus on the solution for a problem by removing the complexity of syntax.

Sure, by maximizing developer productivity, less developers may be needed. But with the current developer shortage, isn’t that a good problem to have? Plus, low-code created a new skill, a new technology that developers can use while helping more people become developers.

I see ChatGPT in a similar way.

A new tool that we can leverage and build new things with it. We just need to adapt and make it work for us.

That’s the advantage of being in the tech industry: in the words of Bear Grylls, we are used to improvising, adapting, overcoming. Learning new tools and technology is a basic necessity in our day to day.

Our jobs won’t be replaced; they will just change to something new and exciting.