ChatGPT will give white-collar workers the blues

ChatGPT (part of the Open AI group), or Generative Pre-trained Transformer, was launched not even three months ago, on 30 November 2022.  It gained one million new users within five...

ChatGPT (part of the Open AI group), or Generative Pre-trained Transformer, was launched not even three months ago, on 30 November 2022.  It gained one million new users within five days – way faster than comparable sign-ups for Instagram (which took 10 weeks to reach one million users), Facebook (10 months), Twitter (24 months), Netflix (41 months).  ChatGPT could be to Google, which has really had the world of search engines to itself for many years, what Broadband was to dial-up, FM to AM, Spotify to Walkman etc.  Artificial Intelligence has arrived for all of us and so far it looks to be incredibly powerful.

Chat GPT is an ‘inference’ engine (it provides answers) versus a “generation” engine like Google that quickly provides links to existing data.  Feed ChatGPT some facts and you can ask it to do anything:  it will write you a personalized wedding speech, a business plan, translate foreign languages, summarise a BusinessDesk article, even write a sonnet.  It has already passed an MBA exam, the Bar admittance exam and a US medical license exam.

I asked ChatGPT for short summarized answers to the following questions and it is fascinating what it did for me:   Question one: how does hydrogen technology work?  Answer: Hydrogen technology refers to the use of hydrogen as a source of energy.  Hydrogen is a clean, renewable, and abundant source of energy that can be used to power vehicles, homes, and industry.  The technology works by using hydrogen fuel cells, which convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity, producing only water as a by-product.  The hydrogen can be produced through a process known as electrolysis, where electricity is used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.  The hydrogen can then be stored and transported, and used as fuel in fuel cells, where it reacts with oxygen to produce electricity, heat, and water.  This technology provides a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels, and has the potential to play a significant role in reducing our dependence on non-renewable sources of energy and mitigating the effects of climate change.  Question two:  Explain how New Zealand’s geothermal energy supply works:  Answer:  New Zealand’s geothermal power generation harnesses the heat from the Earth’s core to produce electricity.  This works by pumping water into the hot rock near the Earth’s mantle, where it is heated and returns as steam.   The steam is then used to turn turbines and generate electricity, with the spent steam condensed back into water and re-injected into the ground to start the process again. This sustainable and environmentally friendly energy source accounts for around 25% of New Zealand’s total electricity generation and is abundant, reliable, and has a small land footprint, making it an important part of the country’s energy mix.  And question three:  Please provide a brief history of the All Blacks winning record,  Answer:  The All Blacks, New Zealand’s national rugby team, have a storied history of success and dominance in international rugby.  With a winning percentage of over 77%, they are widely considered one of the greatest international rugby teams of all time.  The All Blacks have won three Rugby World Cups, in 1987, 2011, and 2015, and have won the Tri-Nations tournament (now the Rugby Championship) a record 16 times.  They have also been ranked the world’s top international rugby team for over a decade, and their haka, a traditional Māori dance, has become synonymous with their dominance on the rugby field.  Despite their success, the All Blacks are known for their humility and sportsmanship, and continue to be a source of national pride for New Zealanders around the world.  And now my favourite:  Please describe Hobson Wealth in one paragraph:  Answer:  Hobson Wealth is a financial services firm that provides wealth management and investment advice to individuals, families, and institutions.  The company offers personalized financial planning, portfolio management, retirement planning, and tax planning services to help clients achieve their financial goals. Hobson Wealth utilizes a research-driven, long-term investment philosophy and employs a combination of traditional and alternative investment strategies to grow and protect its clients’ wealth.  With a commitment to exceptional service and expertise in wealth management, Hobson Wealth is a trusted provider of financial services in the industry.


For decades, the world has been talking about the demise of the blue-collar worker through automation and robots.  Perhaps it’s the white-collar worker that gets disrupted (and very quickly).  Perhaps for this reason, ChatGPT has been banned at many US Universities.  They are now asking students to write essays using ChatGPT then write their own essay evaluating it.

Elon Musk has been very vocal on the dangers of AI to humanity.  A month before ChatGPT was launched Elon Musk stated “The pace of progress in artificial intelligence is incredibly fast. Unless you have direct exposure to groups like DeepMind (Google’s AI), you have no idea how fast—it is growing at a pace close to exponential”.  We (i.e. you and I) now have this “direct exposure”  with Chat GPT.

Remember when your parents didn’t want to email or use the internet.  You are here again – have fun, do good things, learn.  In the meantime, how to get up on a surfboard in three easy steps according to Chat GPT:  1. Start on the beach and paddle out to the breaking waves on your stomach.  2. When you reach the wave, pop up quickly by placing your hands on the deck of the board and springing up onto your feet. 3. Keep your weight forward and center, with your knees bent and arms outstretched for balance.