Why ChatGPT can be an effective partner

What is the role of tools like ChatGPT in our personal and professional lives? 

At Axios’ recent AI+ Summit, Eric Schmidt (former Google CEO and founder of Schmidt Futures), stood by his previous statements in which he characterized AI as an unreliable partner. 

Schmidt is correct that tools like ChatGPT have flaws, like their tendency to hallucinate, but he is wrong about it being a poor partner. In fact, these flaws ensure that a partnership is necessary. The human role is to take the helpful, but flawed, product that ChatGPT produces and improve it. 

ChatGPT is a logic and creativity generator, which makes it the perfect creative problem solving partner. It can respond to your questions or statements, leaving users from all walks of life with unprecedented access to intelligence. Whether you are seeking a creative perspective for analyzing a problem or need inspiration for Christmas gifts.

Although ChatGPT provides insightful answers, its true value lies in how we integrate these responses with our own knowledge and experience. 

There is room for us to have a partnership with AI tools like ChatGPT.

Our partnership with ChatGPT is similar to that of programmers’ participating in “pair programming.” Pair programming is a software development technique where two developers work together and complement one another, combining their knowledge and often increasing productivity. The partnership that we have with ChatGPT is more complementary than non complementary, both personally and professionally. 

The benefits of this partnership are particularly apparent in the workplace. A recent study at MIT compared the productivity of professionals using ChatGPT as an assistant with those not using any assistant. It found that the people using the assistant were more productive and ChatGPT allowed for historically lower performers to be more effective contributors. 

Additionally, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released an editorial exploring how LLMs (including ChatGPT) can be used to improve nursing care. In the nursing industry, LLMs will do what they do best – analyze, assess and interpret patient data to reduce the workload of nurses. This augmentation allows for nurses to provide more personalized emotional support to their patients, something that ChatGPT can’t do. 

However, a recent poll by my organization, the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University, shows that Americans are most concerned about AI contributing to job loss. According to an MIT study, a large percentage of companies have said that new technology isn’t being adopted quickly enough. 

Although it’s evident that leveraging ChatGPT as a tool is effective, it’s understandably difficult for some to learn and adopt new technologies quickly. Americans who are uncertain about the future of AI in the workplace may not yet realize how they can create a partnership with ChatGPT to enhance their own skills and capabilities.

ChatGPT can sound intimidating to those who aren’t technologically savvy. Thankfully, the only prerequisite to using ChatGPT is the ability to use a computer or smartphone. There are many resources available to begin learning and establishing a partnership with ChatGPT. One free and effective teaching tool is this codecademy short course. 

AI tools will continue to impact our lives. ChatGPT is available to anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection. Its powerful capabilities should inspire us to learn how we can leverage it to improve our lives personally and professionally.

CGO scholars and fellows frequently comment on a variety of topics for the popular press. The views expressed therein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Center for Growth and Opportunity or the views of Utah State University.