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The Highs and Lows of ChatGPT

ChatGPT has been conquering the headlines (and writing them) for the most part of this year, with a stringent divide between those who are ready to fully embrace the AI-based assistant and those thinking more cautiously long-term of the consequences that a society dependant on a machine giving structure to our thoughts could pose. 

At the start of 2023, tech and innovation expert Richard Marshall discussed at our Tech Trends events how Artificial Intelligence, and Generative AI in particular, would be a key topic this year.

Moreover, Generative AI will likely be a core architectural component to technology in the future. 

He highlighted, however, the risks that currently remain surrounding AI, such as bias, deepfakes and lack of auditability. On personally testing out ChatGPT, it is clear that it believes whatever you tell it and thus can’t be relied upon for accurate and unfabricated answers; something Gartner refers to in its article identifying six risks of ChatGPT to evaluate. Others include possible violation of copyright or IP protections, and cyber fraud risks, such as tricking the application into writing malware codes. 

However an article in Forbes in April listed the pros of ChatGPT for customer experience, implemented as a chatbot on company websites. The article quoted that 80% of consumers find interacting with a chatbot makes them more frustrated, usually unable to get the answers they need.  

ChatGPT has the potential to transform this. 

Its AI technology is different from others, having been designed specifically for conversational interactions and tested on human trainers. It therefore understands natural language, it learns and improves with use, and there are numerous applications for it. 

And while there’s a lot of fearmongering around whether students will ever actually write their own pieces of work again while they have ChatGPT at their fingertips to hammer out essays for them in a fraction of the time, a comment piece in Time magazine proposed why it shouldn’t be banned in schools. 

Their argument is that now, more than ever, young people should understand ‘how to navigate a world where AI is woven into everyday life’. The next generation needs to understand how best to utilise it, what are its shortcomings, how to interrogate it and how to use it in an ethical way. They may also be part of the future of improving it, such as coming up with ways to reduce bias and how to detect that ChatGPT has been used in a piece of text. 

There’s no doubt that this is the future, so what do Scottish businesses think? 

ScotlandIS member and recruitment expert, Hays, recently published a survey indicating that 57% of employers in Scotland and 56% of workers believe that AI in the workplace will bring positive impacts and should be embraced rather than feared. A third of employers in Scotland remain undecided and many are already utilising AI tools at work, particularly in marketing (37%) and technology (30%) companies. 

It’s clear that while there are certain pitfalls associated with AI and ChatGPT, the key challenges are lack of understanding, regulation and skills. With time, if we work on tackling these obstacles and learn how to manage these risks, usage will continue to become more and more widespread. 

One of our more novel sessions at our ScotSoft conference this year is a Live Chat with ChatGPT – has this ever been done before? The entertaining Jordan Schroeder, Managing CISO of Barrier Networks, is taking on the conversational agent in a ‘Fireside Chat’, something which delegates at the leading tech conference won’t want to miss. 

It could go wrong. But it could also be very insightful.  

Either way, it will make for highly interesting viewing. In his current role, Jordan is responsible for overseeing governance, risk and compliance in multiple facets of cybersecurity and, as such, will also take a deep dive into what has been discussed in this blog: drawing on his extensive experience and unique insights to provide a fresh perspective on ChatGPT, its impacts on society, security, and the potential need for regulation. Whether you are an experienced professional or new to the field, Jordan’s talk promises to offer valuable takeaways. 

If you haven’t got your tickets for ScotSoft on 28th September in Edinburgh, you can book them now here. 

If you want to stay ahead of the curve on ChatGPT, or considered implementing AI tools in your organisation and want to find out more, make sure you join Jordan’s talk at ScotSoft 2023. 

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