The Why #57: Why does everyone keep saying that ChatGPT is the start of the AI apocolypse?
By Dan Monheit 10.2.22
If there’s one thing we love, it’s an incoming apocalypse.
If I was writing this email in 1436, it’d be all about the printing press.
1589? The stocking frame knitting machine.
1784? The stationary threshing machine (shout out to our agri-business subscribers).
1886? The automobile.
Hell, just in my own lifetime I’ve managed to dodge near cataclysmic, society crushing events including Y2K, the advent of mobile phones, social media, VR and crypto. Imagine surviving all that, only to be wiped out by a friendly bot called ChatGPT!
If you’ve been under a rock, here’s a quick recap. ChatGPT (chat generative pre-trained transformer) is a state-of-the-art language processing AI model developed by OpenAI. Users can give it a wide range of questions or language tasks and it’ll spit back a very human, and usually very intelligent sounding response.
Want to know how to explain inflation using only basketball terminology? ChatGPT’s got you covered like MJ in the fourth.
Need to craft the dreamy Valentine’s Day text to your workplace crush? ChatGPT’s your perfect match.
Have a client presentation tomorrow morning about the inherent struggles of mixed media attribution modelling? Hold my beer.
It doesn’t take long to start feeling like maybe, just maybe everyone’s got a point. Could it be that this is one of the last truly ‘handwritten’ emails you’ll ever receive? Could an AI bot really be this charming, witty and handsome? And if so, am I doomed? Are you doomed? Are we all doomed?
Declinism is the belief that our society is perpetually in decline. We remember the past as rosy, see the future as rocky, and imagine navigating a straight, downward line between the two.
A 2005 study by Mather and Carstensen looked at the sorts of memories most easily recalled by senior citizens. Sure enough, it was happy memories that most frequently sprung to mind. Family days on the beach. Special holidays. Travel. High school graduations. You get the picture.
While this is lovely and all, it also means we tend to walk around with a warped, one sided view of our past. By comparison, even a well balanced future, filled with equal parts opportunity and risk, seems far worse than where we’ve been. No wonder the slightest sense of an incoming software update has us shaking our fists at the sky and pining for the good old days.
For brands, knowing that people are all but expecting a slow slide into disaster can open some interesting doors. For one, you can tap into nostalgia, tying your brand to memories of happier, simpler times. Alternatively, you can look for ways to show that your business, product or brand are the perfect antidote for whichever flavour of disaster is heading our way next.
PS If you missed the last edition, you can still check out why we wait until the last minute to buy Christmas presents here.
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