ChatGPT - How Long Till They Realize I’m a Robot?

I tried it first on December 2nd...

...and slowly the meaning of it started to sink in. It's January 1st and as the new year begins, my future has never felt so hazy.

It helps me write code.

At my new company I'm writing golang, which is new for me, and one day on a whim I think "hmmm maybe ChatGPT will give me some ideas about the library I need to use." Lo-and-behold it knew the library. It wrote example code. It explained each section in just enough detail.

I'm excited....It assists my users.

I got a question about Dockerfiles in my teams oncall channel. "Hmmm I don't know the answer to this either"....ChatGPT did. It knew the commands to run. It knew details of how it worked. It explained it better and faster than I could have.

Now I'm nervous....It writes my code for me.

Now I'm hearing how great Github Copilot is - and it's built by OpenAI too...ok I guess I should give it a shot. I install it, and within minutes it's already helped me complete a coding task far faster than I would've done it alone.

Ok now it's full on fear....It assists my oncall.

I get paged in the evening. I haven't handled a page on my own at this company yet - I know I need logs but don't know how to get them. ChatGPT does. It knows the commands. It knows how to filter the output. It knows how to aggregate it. It knows all the details. If it had the right permissions would it be able to diagnose the issue itself?

Full on career existential crisis!...It invades my conversations.

I see many friends and loved ones over the holidays. I can't help but talk to every one of them about it. My wife is annoyed - I can't blame her; by the 7th conversation about ChatGPT I'm annoyed by the sound of my own fear. But the thing is, most start out skeptical but become impressed after trying it themselves for some work-related function.

Now I feel vindicated in my fear and determined to be the first to warn everyone!...My friends bring me down to Earth.

Finally I speak to some friends who are completely unimpressed. They lead teams in AI/ML work and have heard the questions about ChatGPT at all-hands over and over throughout December. "What are we doing about ChatGPT? Have we thought about using it? Is there a risk to our business?". To them it's just another tool that'll make us a bit more productive. Our real job is to figure out which problems to solve, which ChatGPT cannot do. Initially I feel angry that they aren't playing "The Americans" to my "Paul Revere". But after I sleep it off, their perspective starts to make sense.

Now I'm just impatient.

Change is here - ChatGPT, Github copilot and other AI tools are useful products that represent a big step forward for AI. But when my head is in the clouds, the perspective that isn't clear is that...the impact it will have IS NOT clear. It could be a sign of advances to come, or it could be just another tool in the white collar professionals tool belt. And the best way to be right about anything regarding the future of tech is...slowly.


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