You may have seen news of people talking about the new artificial intelligence chatbot from OpenAI, called ChatGPT.
Put simply, this is a way you can ask questions to OpenAI’s huge artificial intelligence in a natural, chat-like manner.
So for example, you can ask it questions in natural text, and instead of just linking to a page with an answer, it will understand what you were looking to find out and write that answer for you. Then you can ask follow-up questions and it will continue the conversation.
I have spoken about artificial creativity previously, including the GPT3 Text generation system this Chatbot is based on, but this system is so user friendly and useful that there are a multitude of uses for it.
The main uses are probably to quickly find answers to questions, or to use it as a prompt to generate text which can then be used as a starter for your own writing. Think it of a support system for human creativity.
Imagine you were a writer tasked with researching and writing about a topic you knew little about. You could ask the system to write you a draft essay or blog post on a topic, and then it will generate a few hundred words for you in seconds, after which you can copy and refine these yourself. Or just publish them as your own if you have no imagination or morals…
So I decided to try out the system for myself, and I am blown away not only by what it can do, but how easy it now also is to use.
Here are two examples of what it is able to produce. One serious, and one a bit more silly.
Using ChatGPT to have a conversation (and an argument) with AI
I wanted to know what this system thought of innovation, so I had a quick conversation with it
You can even ask it to provide the answer in specific styles.
Nick Skillicorn: what are the statistics around investing in innovation during a recession?
ChatGPT: It’s difficult to provide specific statistics on investing in innovation during a recession without knowing more about the specific context and time frame you’re interested in. However, in general, investing in innovation can be a good way to drive economic growth and help a company or economy recover from a recession. Many successful companies have been able to weather recessions and even thrive during difficult economic times by investing in innovation and new products or services. This can help them stay competitive and continue to generate revenue, even in a challenging economic environment. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that investing in innovation can also be risky, and not all innovations will be successful. It’s important to carefully evaluate the potential risks and rewards of any investment in innovation, and to have a well-thought-out plan for how to manage those risks.
Nick Skillicorn: can you give me a good example?
ChatGPT: One example of a company that successfully invested in innovation during a recession is Apple. In the late 2000s, Apple was facing a challenging economic environment and intense competition from other tech companies. However, the company continued to invest in innovation, releasing new and improved products such as the iPhone and iPad. These products were well-received by consumers, and helped Apple continue to grow and thrive even during the recession. As a result, Apple became one of the most valuable companies in the world, and is now known for its innovative products and technologies.
Nick Skillicorn: and another?
ChatGPT: Another example of a company that successfully invested in innovation during a recession is Amazon. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Amazon was a small online retailer facing intense competition from other e-commerce companies. However, the company continued to invest in innovation, developing new technologies and expanding its product offerings. This included the launch of Amazon Web Services, a cloud computing platform that has become a major source of revenue for the company. As a result of these investments in innovation, Amazon was able to continue growing and become one of the world’s largest and most successful companies.
Nick Skillicorn: what about examples of companies that failed to innovate?
ChatGPT: There are many examples of companies that have failed to innovate and subsequently struggled or failed during a recession. For instance, Blockbuster was once a dominant player in the video rental industry, but the company failed to adapt to the rise of online streaming services. As a result, Blockbuster was unable to compete with companies like Netflix and was ultimately forced to declare bankruptcy during the Great Recession of the late 2000s.
Nick Skillicorn: but isn’t it pointless to invest in innovation if most of the projects will fail?
ChatGPT: While it’s true that not all innovation projects will be successful, investing in innovation can still be a worthwhile pursuit for many companies. While it’s important to carefully evaluate the risks and potential rewards of any innovation project, investing in innovation can help a company stay competitive, generate new sources of revenue, and drive economic growth. Furthermore, even if an innovation project doesn’t pan out as expected, the process of pursuing and developing the idea can still provide valuable insights and knowledge that can be applied to future projects. In short, investing in innovation is not without risk, but it can be a valuable way for companies to stay ahead of the curve and drive progress.
So as you can see, I was having a conversation with this AI, and it was coming up with text which was totally appropriate. Even if the answers are very standard and obvious examples of case studies.
But that is pretty normal text.
What if I wanted to have the system do something creative.
Asking ChatGPT to generate something creative and new
Nick Skillicorn: make up a rap song about penguins sounding like a pirate
ChatGPT: Ahoy mateys, listen up and hear
A tale of penguins, oh so dear
They waddle and they slide
With their black and white hide
Penguins, penguins, so full of fun
They love to swim, they love to run
They’re not your average bird
They’re quite a sight to be heard
They live in cold, they live in ice
They’ll steal your heart in a single slice
So if you ever see one near
Just know that they’re a pirate’s dear
Penguins, penguins, they’re so cool
They’ll make you want to break the rules
So let’s all raise a glass
To these feathered pirates, at last!
Well, that seems pretty creative to me.
Once again, systems like this will be useful tools for people who use it to supplement their own workflows and processes, saving time and having more time available to add the iteration and refinement which at the moment can only be done with human creativity.
But in the meantime, it is amazing to see how quickly creative AI is progressing.
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