The arrival of ChatGPT to me was the official release of AI to the masses. We have been hearing about the evolution of "the machines" for many years. The big tech companies have tried to monetize and bake in AI features into products and services. We said, "cool" but we could mostly live without a lot of them.
There are many services that we use that depend of AI decision making algorithms, recognition software and they make our lives easier. And so far for the most part AI has been our friend. Now however the true impact of AI has been wrapped up and presented in a way we cannot ignore as just that "helpful google feature".
With the museum piece that is ChatGPT landed in our laps, it cannot be strongly articulated enough that the power of AI will overtake many who trade in basic knowledge that a computer if setup correctly can collect, categorize and re-use.
I feel some pictures will help us here.
In the early part of the last century a car factory looked like this:
By the end of the same century and into the current one it looks more like this:
A factory once manned by human workers now is populated by robots. This was of course an evolution not a sudden devastating event. We humans evolved this to speed up production and efficiency. They did not invade earth.
A small, smart and evolutionary conscious group of workers in those car factories recognized "the power of efficiency" these robots could provide them. Now comes the important part.
The remaining section of the community recognized the threat to their jobs but what they did next is what mattered to their existence in the factory. There are those that recognized the evolution and repositioned themselves if they could. There were also those that did not accept the evolution and they sadly lost their jobs and most likely their careers doing what they were doing for so many years.
Pictures speak a thousand words. Like these robots in this picture. AI (as expressed in ChatGPT) will not replace any of us if we position it as a worker for us to become more like this:
Humans can still control the kitchen if they choose to take a higher position in the value chain.
The Knowledge Economy Transition
We have had a long grace period where we were allowed to believe that knowledge harvested by humans would always be superior to that a computer could offer. But now we see that at a basic level this is not true.
Friends and peers have been sending me "hey this is amazing, look" messages about what ChatGPT can generate.
So lets find out how much a Salesforce coder might be impacted by ChatGPT's incredible ability to produce code examples on the fly:
OK! So as if that was not scary enough in itself. I then asked it to produce a basic unit test for such a construct. And it did:
Now note that it is not going off and responding to a strict set of requirements and writing code. But it almost certainly eats away at a developers market value when it comes to "principals knowledge". If such people in those roles do nothing to pivot and evolve. Sounds rather Darwinist right?
I define this as something you have learnt that is a construct based on the way something works, a good practice or the result of good research. So ChatGPT has the potential to wipe out the value of a humans ability to articulate a set of common principals to an employer.
This should worry a lot of people especially those in the Knowledge marketplace who are not expressing pitfalls and real world takes on those principals. It is the human aspect of delivering these principals to an employer, a client that will matter. Computers can now articulate in ways we only did.
Value Proposition Shift
What this evolution now means is all members of the knowledge economy need to step their game up. AI will compete only if you choose not to upwards shift in where in the value proposition chain you can sit to utilise the services AI can offer. Simply put, your big speeches at interviews on best practices for writing Apex triggers will no longer gain you employment. "hey, ChatGPT could have told me that dude!" will be thought.
The value proposition of a junior developer for example will need to change. Seniors will need to help them harness the power. There is work to be done and those that sit on their hands will regret it later.
Bottom line will be, enslave such AI to be your worker or face a digital service that will essentially replace parts of your knowledge arsenal via an API call!