AI and ChatGPT: Friend or Foe?
This month my learning topic has been AI and ChatGPT. There’s been a lot of chatter in the news, both good and bad. And as with any innovative technology, there will undoubtedly be both good and bad applications of AI.
Being a tech-lover, I’m much more excited and optimistic about all the positive outcomes that I think will become available, including advances in everything from medicine to the arts.
Just like the Internet and social media have allowed us to collaborate and learn from brilliant minds throughout the world, AI will make it possible for us to accelerate that learning.
As for the bad stuff? I have faith in humanity. There will be jobs, smart people, and tools to expose those who are using technology unethically or for harm. That’s my viewpoint, anyway.
Using ChatGPT to blog for me
I had ChatGPT write an earlier blog post this month: August Learning: Embracing AI and ChatGPT in Retirement. Though I was amazed that ChatGPT could write, in a few seconds, what typically takes me at least an hour, I also felt like this was somehow “cheating.”
No one is “grading” my blog posts (in fact, hardly anyone is even reading my blog posts!) so why should it matter whether I write it or AI writes it? If AI can write better than me, then what motivation do I have to even want to write?
When really thinking about why I blog in the first place, it’s mostly so that I have a place to reflect and process some of my thoughts. It gives me a way to hold myself accountable to whatever goal or project I’m currently working on. It also is a great way to preserve memories (I’m much more aware of this, lately, as I think about the importance of memory and the ‘stories’ we tell. )
And, of course, I like to blog because I like to write. I get a kick out of words and puns and wordplay… trying to find my own unique voice. Having ChatGPT quickly write up a blog post for me is entertaining and amazing, but it doesn’t give me nearly the satisfaction I feel from writing a blog post on my own.
Learning more about what AI and ChatGPT can do for us
However, I discovered that I could use AI to help me improve my writing, rather than asking it to simply write something for me.
Besides the more technical Coursera class I took about AI, I also took a Udemy course, ChatGPT Complete Course: ChatGPT Beginner-Expert. ChatGPT. This course was very informal – no quizzes or technical content whatsoever. In fact, I listened to most of the lectures similar to how I listen to podcasts, while walking.
Though this was not your typical course, it opened my eyes to the vast number of ways that the free version of ChatGPT could be used. I’m especially impressed at how well it can write poetry or can imitate the “voice” of famous authors or poets.
There are a lot of other AI tools besides ChatGPT, of course. I had fun converting my photo to a Barbie image with one of the AI Barbie tools. There will continue to be more and more interesting and unique tools, allowing us to experiment, play, and learn.
Technical innovations are exciting for me, but even I have had my uncomfortable feelings. Am I becoming even less valuable as a person? This is a time of life when I already am questioning my purpose and value. Knowing that a tool is more skilled than I am in the art of writing, I initially felt demotivated to blog anymore at all.
However, I have now learned that there are so many ways I can use ChatGPT to enhance my skills. AI cannot replace ME. We are each unique in our experiences and talents. But there are some amazing tools that will help us do some of the easier tasks, leaving our minds to the more creative, unique tasks that make us who we are.
What about you? What do you think of AI?