That Artificial Intelligence (AI) was coming, it is common knowledge. If we are afraid, we should have been prepared for it.We are now in the era of Communication 3.0, where AI takes over from the Communication 2.0 era of the internet, which in its turn, had replaced the traditional media of print and television (Communication 1.0)
In the evolutionary history of communication, we have seen how technology has been changing the world. The printing press since 1500, changed manuscript writing; radio and television made communication much faster since 1900 and now at the turn of the millennium, the internet has changed our life and thought processes. If AI, through chatGPT, now takes over communication from the next quarter
Nay sayers say yes, chatGPT will take away all human jobs and make them redundant in the industry. It is true chatGPT is a huge step forward in communication technology when it can write as a professional PR, journalist or an author; it can code as a professional programmer, draw as professional graphic artist. It can even act as a professional consultant. Machine replacing man – the threat seems to be real. Sam Altman, the creator of chatGPT says “AI will cause the price of work that can happen in front of a computer to decrease much faster than the price of work that happens in the physical world. This is the opposite of what most people (including me) expected, and will have strange effects.” Ominous statement, no doubt.
But let us go back to history again. When the printing press was invented it was a revolution. It was meant to popularize the Bible but it was not confined to that job only. It gave birth to pamphlet writing – and in fact to a kind of journalism which gave voice to the dissents and this was not liked by the authorities at all. It gave birth to Protestantism which changed the society, for good or bad. ChatGPT has again brought us to another such crossroad.
To stifle it will be a disaster. We have not forgotten perhaps how the state of West Bengal suffered industrially by officially opposing the entry of the computers in the state. The fear was then too – it will take away jobs. But it didn’t : it in fact created more jobs in a different way ofcourse. Technology is a mere tool; but it needs to be handled carefully. The A-bomb spelt disaster when in the hands of the wrong people. When harnessed it does plenty of good to the society. The internet, when in the hands of the wrong people again, generates hate speech and fakery. It is ruining the credibility of the media. It needs reforms but not in the fascist way.
Microsoft has announced a multibillion dollar investment in OpenAI, the company that has created ChatGPT. Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft said “We formed our partnership with Open AI around a shared ambition to responsibly advance cuttingedge AI research and democratize AI as a new technology platform”. Since ChatGPT can answer questions on any topic, a media house asked ChatGPT whether it will take away human jobs. It answered : ChatGPT and other language models like it have the potential to automate certain tasks that involve natural language processing, such as customer service, data entry and content generation. However, its important to note that models like ChatGPT are not designed to replace human jobs, but rather to assist and augment them. They can help humans to improve the efficiency and accuracy of their tasks. Additionally, AI development and deployment also require human roles, such as data scientists, engineers and researchers. However, nay sayers comment : what is the point in asking the thief whether it will steal? Humans have overcome all kinds of challenges for its survival. We shall overcome this too.