Chatting about ChatGPT on Silo Busting

artificial intelligence

"ChatGPT's Ability to Generate Human Language and Text Can Seduce You into Thinking that it Can Do Your Job. But I Don't Subscribe to that."

Silo Busting 55: Talent in the Age of Generative AI with Sandra Loughlin and Alexandra Diening

February 17, 2023
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Everybody's talking about generative AI and ChatGPT… but few are doing so with the clear-eyed intelligence and honesty of Sandra Loughlin, EPAM's Chief Learning Scientist, and Alexandria Diening, our Head of Research & Insights for EMEA. In this episode of Silo Busting, our conversationalists think about how to optimize this new tech and the unique environment it is creating.

Loughlin says that, regarding ChatGPT, there are "people out there who wish they could turn back the clock and just bury their heads in the sand and pretend that doesn't exist. But generative AI is here, and we need to find ways to live with it and… benefit from it."

She approaches the subject, she says, from three perspectives—from that of her clients, from her practice as a consultant, and as a learning scientist thinking broadly about education.

Diening addresses the hype, and compares it to the speculation surrounding, say, crypto and NFTs, saying of the former: ChatGPT is already delivering tangible value.

Loughlin says she was recently asked to write an article for publication, entered a query into ChatGPT, "and within, you know, 30 seconds it had come out with a full article." She found the draft wanting, of course, and then dove into editing.

Diening notes that the software's output "lacks the nuance of critical and ethical thinking," which means that people are still very much necessary, no matter how hot the hype.

She adds that this might lead to a labor market shift. "I always talk about the death of generalists when it comes to generative AI." ChatGPT could take care of the dull and repetitive work that any general practitioner can do and allow specialists to shine. Could this be a force in the return to craft? Perhaps.

Of course, they both worry about generative AI feeding on polluted data sets. Loughlin says that ChatGPT might, like social media, create echo chambers “for things that are not true but are very attractive for a lot of people.”

But that’s not the only issue. Diening notes that becoming a specialist requires one to experience the "tedious task of aggregating data" and that, traditionally, one must "go through a certain amount of dull work"—like drafting and redrafting one's words, unassisted—to "sharpen yourself as a specialist." She reminds us that ChatGPT is a tool, comparing it to a calculator, saying that it "doesn't take the job away from mathematicians" but helps them crunch their complex numbers. The smart way is to look to partner with this technology rather than rival it.

And that tool, Loughlin says, will ultimately be beneficial for consultants because it will optimize their work. "It's a tool… to help us shape our offerings, get more precise, and create, frankly, more value for our customers."

Curious how it might help your customers? Tune in!

Host: Kenji Ross
Engineer: Kyp Pilalas
Producer: Ken Gordon

Silo Busting 55: Talent in the Age of Generative AI with Sandra Loughlin and Alexandra Diening
filed in: artificial intelligence, employee experience, digital design, education