One of the past year’s most jarring stories was the arrival of AI to the masses. Image generators like OpenAI’s DALL-E drew both interest and ire with their ability to create realistic images and illustrations simply by typing short descriptions into a text box. Now, the same company has developed an AI chatbot that can provide information in simple sentences, explain concepts in clear terms, and even generate business strategies from scratch. Ask ChatGPT a simple question and, using a large neural network, the bot spits out startlingly human-like text within seconds.
ChatGPT’s release has even led Google to declare a “code red,” meaning it may pose a threat to the tech giant’s core search business. Though language models like ChatGPT can potentially upend a wide range of industries, we’re only starting to uncover their true capabilities. Teachers have already caught students using the bot to plagiarize essays, causing New York City public schools to ban access. Experimental questions like asking the bot to compose limericks about otters, recipes written in pirate-speak, and a heartfelt letter to a child about why Santa doesn’t exist reveal how AI is taking an uncanny turn toward sentience.
Wariness about AI’s impact on the future is sure to intensify this year and beyond as mainstream adoption grows, so we decided to test ChatGPT by conducting an interview with it about its capabilities and potential to cause major disruption for creative professionals. (Note: the below has been edited for length.)
What are your capabilities and how they will impact creative industries like design?
As a large language model trained by OpenAI, I can process and generating human-like text at a scale and speed exceeding that of most individuals. This lets me assist with research, content creation, and language translation. I can help generate ideas for design projects and create descriptions and captions. I can assist with editing and proofreading design-related documents, ensuring they communicate the desired message.
My language translation abilities can be valuable in the design industry, where communicating effectively with clients from diverse linguistic backgrounds is essential. Whether translating briefs or facilitating communication during international collaborations, my language skills can help bridge cultural gaps and facilitate a smoother design process.
Should creative professionals be worried about ChatGPT rendering them obsolete?
I am not intended to replace creative professionals. While I can generate human-like text and assist with research and content creation, I do not have the creativity, nuance, or perspective unique to human writers. Their work is an invaluable and irreplaceable part of the creative landscape. By assisting with research, fact-checking, and language editing, I can help writers focus on the creative aspects of their work and produce their best writing.