One tech worker uses the artificial intelligence platform to secretly do two jobs.
Both the powers and risks around OpenAI platform ChatGPT have, at this point, been discussed ad nauseam.
People have now used it for putting together snappy home listing descriptions to disputing parking tickets and, in what is perhaps the most controversial use of the chatbot, writing college essays. In February 2023, three Vanderbilt University officials temporarily stepped down from their jobs after using ChatGPT to write a mass email about a campus shooting.
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While different forms of text-generation software have been around for years, most have resulted in sentences that are overly structured and robotic. ChatGPT-generated writing’s resemblance to a human voice has made it skyrocket in popularity at the start of 2023 while also raising fears about its potential.
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One recent MITRE-Harris poll found that 72% of Americans are very or somewhat concerned that ChatGPT could be used for nefarious means while another found that 42% fear that artificial intelligence platforms will eventually make it harder for them to find a job.
While these discussions usually center around visions of robot-like machines coding websites or answering emails in a windowless room, artificial intelligence is much more likely to be used by human workers.
Currently working a side job marketing a tech company’s new products, Ben told Vice’s Motherboard that he uses ChatGPT to do everything from write reports to putting together storyboards and presentations.
“That’s the only reason I got my job this year,” Ben, who talked to Vice on condition of not using his real name, said. “ChatGPT does like 80 percent of my job if I’m being honest.”
After seeing the ChatGPT-produced products pass muster for the tech company, Ben also started using ChatGPT to do some parts of his main job. Ben said that, from time to time, he even uses ChatGPT to write Slack (WORK) – Get Free Report messages to his manager.
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Another worker whose name was changed to Daniel uses ChatGPT to put together emails for his job as the director of a tech company. He said that it’s harder to incorporate it into his side job as a web developer because the platform’s code-writing abilities can only go so far.
When used for emails, Daniel sees ChatGPT as a way to save time on communicating certain work-related issues rather than “creating” his main product for him.
“Most people in tech probably aren’t as good at writing things as most other people,” Daniel said. “[ChatGPT] is really good for stuff like that.”
As shown by the workers reluctance to use their real names, this type of thing is generally looked down upon as laziness or cheating in the most extreme situations.
While there are currently many instances of people using it to pass off AI-written products as original work, ethical use can automate certain tasks while leaving time for more complex ones — according to those who use it frequently, relying on ChatGPT as a crutch, meanwhile, rarely produces the kind of competitive products that will always require human thought and innovation.
“Management should want developers to generate [the most simple tasks] automatically so they can spend more time on features that can go to market faster,” web developer Marcus Merrell wrote for Fast Company.
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