ChatGPT by OpenAI has brought us the promotion we asked for but never signed up for. Like all or most promotions, it requires not only an addition of skills but a growth/shift in perspective. For the white-collar crowd this might be the help we have been asking for. How it scales for employer versus employee remains to be decided. But first I would like to go into the shift in perspective I see coming down the pike.
In the world of technological devices, it is not uncommon to see an innovation from a high-end or luxury product make its way into the more base models a few series down the line. Take for example, a Mercedes Benz E Series or the Lexus LS series had features in the 2018 models that a less luxury brand like Toyota or Honda would have in their Camry or Accord 2022 (or even earlier) models respectively. Innovation that leads to an upgrade in how a product is used or consumed inevitably leads to an overall compound upgrade in the product; as competitors will seek to captivate customers on the premise of improvement. Innovation sets a benchmark in the market for a product that producers either have to improve on, invalidate or acquiesce. For most, it makes more sense to acquiesce before they lose a customer base to F.O.M.O. The same can be said with the operating software in the PC. Once people got accustomed to Microsoft Office suite, it was only a matter of time until Apple gave and paid for a license that is still being used to this day. Conversely, Apple gave us iTunes and now it is pretty safe to say you can get iTunes on your PC laptop. It made more sense to acquiesce in both cases.
What does this have to do with ChatGPT? Where is the innovation that will be acquiesced? Well in terms of usability, it is quite impressive what ChatGPT does for the some work-related tasks and projects. However, the main upgrade in ChatGPT will occur in the mind of the user. More specifically, the mentality of the user. Due to the massive simplification effect of ChatGPT, a lot of workers who are used to performing mundane tasks as part of their job descriptions have marveled with terror. They marvel at how much they can accomplish while being terrified of how soon the boss will find it and then get rid of them. One of the opportunity costs of innovation is often obsolescence. What is rendered obsolete may either be a device or a person or even an entire field of work. So people will lose jobs or jobs will be rendered obsolete but what could the improvement be.
Upon using ChatGPT, one of the main features that stands out to me is its capacity to draft schedules, schemes, work template suggestions and notes. Items which for the project manager are quite key to their overall productivity. However instead of requiring these of the worker below them, it can be done via AI prompt. So while someone may lose their job, that same person with a change in mindset will now have to look at their work life from a manager’s perspective. Hence not only may they have lost their job to AI but artificial intelligence may just have eradicated a ton of entry-level white collar jobs. Which means entry-level is now going to be at today’s management level in terms of perspective. Which means, entry level will require the mindset of someone who will be overseeing work as a confluence of productivity as opposed to a piece of the puzzle. This upgrade in my prediction will trend upward to the C-suite. We will benefit from greater productivity but we might not be able to appreciate it if we do not scale up in operational perspective.
On the other hand, it can also occur that several organizations miscalculate and remove more workers than necessary or depend too much on this application in a way that brings up other issues such as shutdown of the OpenAI CNS or center of operations which could wreak havoc in a heavily electronic and internet dependent organization (which is pretty much the majority of organizations in the West). Unlike an entry level clerk, ChatGPT has no allegiance to any organizations and the extent to which it can be customized has not yet been confirmed.
All in all, I may be jumping the gun, but I dare say, it is worth considering an upgrade in our professional mentality. Because it just may be that what was once an option will now be a requirement. Adapt or “Die”.
*F.O.M.O – Fear of Missing Out.
*CNS – Central Nervous System