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ChatGPT – The next big disrupter?

ChatGPT, has arrived and is quickly gathering momentum. Launched into the world in November 2022 it made its debut on BBC news yesterday, presenting as the next ‘big thing’ the internet has to offer and a threat to Google’s dominance of the highly valuable search engine space.

Setting aside for a moment the BBC’s love of giving us all something else to worry about, it made me curious as to what it is and its potential to disrupt. To find out, ironically, I Googled it!

Apparently it is a large language model chatbot, developed by OpenAI, (Microsoft partner) based on GPT-3.5. Well that explains it for sure!

Since co-authoring our book ‘Strategy, Paradigms & Cowdung – the quest for new strategic space’ with my colleague Peter Thornton, (over 23 years ago!), I have always taken a keen interest in any industry disrupter. Going even further back to 1984, as a young man I also remember watching the first Terminator movie so I registered and then interviewed the ChatGPT chatbot to see what it had to say for itself.

Here are some of the headlines from our ‘conversation’:

Where will ChatGPT make its biggest impact?

ChatGPT and other conversational AI models are likely to have a significant impact across a number of industries and domains, including:

  • Customer service: It can be used to provide 24/7 customer support, handling a high volume of inquiries and providing quick, accurate answers to customers’ questions.
  • Healthcare: It can be integrated into healthcare systems to provide patients with access to reliable, evidence-based information and support in making informed health decisions.
  • Finance: It can be used to automate financial processes, such as account management, fraud detection, and customer support, freeing up human employees to focus on more complex tasks.
  • Education: It has the potential to disrupt the tertiary education system by improving access to information, augmenting online learning, and offering alternative forms of assessment.

It is important to note that while ChatGPT has the potential to make a significant impact in these and other domains, it is just one tool among many, and its impact will depend on how it is integrated and used in each context.

Nothing to worry about here then! I decided to dig a bit deeper into one of the areas it mentioned, as I have a daughter working in the tertiary education system here in the UK.

How will ChatGPT disrupt the tertiary education system?

ChatGPT and similar conversational AI models have the potential to disrupt the tertiary education system in a number of ways, including:

  • Improving access to information: ChatGPT and other AI models can provide students with instant access to a vast amount of information, allowing them to quickly find answers to their questions and learn at their own pace.
  • Augmenting online learning: ChatGPT and other AI models can be integrated into online learning platforms, providing students with personalized support and guidance as they work through their course materials.
  • Offering alternative forms of assessment: Conversational AI models like ChatGPT can be used to assess students’ understanding of course material through natural language questions and answers, providing a more engaging and flexible form of assessment.

However, it’s important to note that while ChatGPT and other AI models can augment and support the tertiary education system, they are not a replacement for human teachers and instructors, who bring unique expertise, experience, and personal connection to the classroom.

So no threat to learning professionals at all then. Well maybe only to the bad ones who can only inform without engaging?

Finally, in a nod to the fear induced by the Terminator movies I asked:

Will ChatGPT replace consultants and their blogs?

No, ChatGPT will not replace consultants or their blogs.

While ChatGPT can provide information and answers to specific questions, it is not a substitute for the expertise, experience, and personal insights that consultants bring to their work and writing. Additionally, blogs can serve as a platform for consultants to share their perspectives, build their personal brand, and engage with their audience in a way that is not possible through conversational AI alone.

Phew, that’s a relief! Hold on a second, that’s what any good Terminator would say if they have their sights set on world domination. Gulp!