Digital: Disrupted: Is ChatGPT Already on the Decline?

Rocket Software

September 8, 2023

In this week’s episode, Paul is joined by Chris Surdak, the Managing Director at Quantiqs. Chris discusses his perspective on ChatGPT – and why he believes it is inevitable that ChatGPT will decline due to inherent shortcomings with the technology. He also shares his advice for business leaders on what to be mindful of when using ChatGPT.

Digital: Disrupted is a weekly podcast sponsored by Rocket Software, in which Paul Muller dives into the unique angles of digital transformation—the human side, the industry specifics, the pros and cons, and the unknown future. Paul asks tech/business experts today’s biggest questions, from “how do you go from disrupted to disruptor?” to “how does this matter to humanity?” Subscribe to gain foresight into what’s coming and insight on how to navigate it.

About This Week’s Guest:

Chris is the Managing Director at Quantiqs, a technology consultancy, where he leads digital transformation initiatives. He has extensive experience guiding organizations on successful digital transformation and organizational change and is an expert in artificial intelligence.

Listen to the full episode here or check out some highlights below.  

Paul Muller: So let's talk then about some of the downside risks. I'm going to open up with a provocative thought, maybe it's just stating the obvious, but for a technology that was unknown to most, ChatGPT appeared like this magical technology out of nowhere. And the media, as they want to do, spent the first six months of its existence, or their knowledge of its existence, breathlessly reporting on its incredible capabilities. The media seems to set the tone. And I won't say it's turned completely, but there's only so many frothy headlines you can read about how amazing it is before the media kind of gloms onto the old adage if it bleeds, it leads. And so, we're starting to report on the decline or the potential disasters. How many of these reports of disasters, and maybe let me rephrase, what's your reaction to some of these reports? The one I mentioned earlier is that technology's already declining. Is it simply just a case of if it bleeds it leads, we need to beat this up in order to continue to attract eyeballs to our social media so that we can monetize our ads.

Chris Surdak: Yes. And so, bleeds, it leads absolutely. It's all about eyeballs. It's the attention. Attention omics, the attention economy. But the other side of it too is the fall is inevitable. I worked briefly at Gartner. Gartner has their hype cycle, the adoption curve in 96 when I graduated with my MBC, my study was on calculating. So, there's an adoption curve for every technology. Every technology follows that curve. They have different rates of adoption and growth and so forth. So, this has been true since the beginning, I mean we are a technology species. Language and technology are the two things that make us pretty unique in the world. And so, the thing that's changed, why ChatGPT is substantially different than the spinning wheel that caused the Luddites to rebel against machines is the pace of adoption.

And this is an argument I make in jerk. That's where the notion of jerk comes from. Our pace of adopting new technologies is dramatically faster than it ever has been. It still follows the same adoption curve, there's still the same hype cycle, but we don't have six decades to adjust. We have six months to adjust and we're rapidly approaching six weeks to adjust. And that's why it feels so disruptive. That's why we go crazy to adopt it. And that's why we get sort of the hangover much more rapidly because the cycles are shortening every year that goes by and it becomes more and more difficult to keep up with it.

CS: I've talked to people at many of the different companies, and they have applied a layer of political correctness on top of OpenAI as an afterthought. You have to remember that in the trillions of so-called documents that it was trained on human language, a significant majority of that was social media. And as I said prior to the show, you couldn't pick a worse chunk of source material for speaking on behalf of humanity than social media. Has anyone ever told the truth on social media ever? And right now, ChatGPT as it was architected, was by design going to become optimally deceptive by design.

And that's exactly what you find. So, a bad source material. And then you said something earlier that I wanted to reflect on. And that is the more we use technology to automate our lives and the more we depend upon that automation and so forth, our tiny sliver of remaining humanness becomes more and more precious to us. And so that creative spark, you mentioned a moment ago, are we getting rid of it? We are taking it away to such a large extent that the tiny bit of our humanness that remains is going to become more and more and more valuable to us. I wrote an article also 10 years ago, talking about how human talent if you're a good coder if you know this stuff about AI, we've already seen salaries increase. People who know what they're talking about have doubled or tripled in the last year. And that's exactly what I predicted 10 years ago. It's like professional sports because if I can leverage your intellect by a factor of 10,000, I can't afford to get the fourth best person. I have to get the best person. And just like in sports, you're going to see this competition for the most talented, so I can amplify them, not amplify the average, so to speak. So, there's going to be an enormous, as I said a decade ago, there's going to be an enormous impact on the labor market for technology people, but it's the opposite of what people thought.