How ChatGPT is changing the way we see our future technology

Felipe Emídio
5 min readJan 20, 2023

Tech can’t destroy us, we are going to do it first!

Near the end of 2022, everyone was talking about some ChatGPT thing.

ChatGPT is an AI-based chat made by the OpenAI company. GPT stands for Generative Pre-training Transformer. And this chat is open to the public freely.

Robot hands typing on a computer
Source: portafolio.co

Why so much noise?

Because that is the most intelligent, creative, and human-like chat AI sent to the public until now, giving all sorts of feelings like “I’m replaceable”, “It gonna kill us all”, or “It can do my homework”, etc.

And these are justified thoughts seen that you can ask for the chat to write a song, a poem, or even a LinkedIn motivational speech, and it will generate what you asked for with such quality that any singer, artist, or tech recruiter in the market.

Example of ChatGPT answering a question
ChatGPT answering about Flutter state management tools — Source: AJay’s Twitter

All this potential has driven the eyes of the public, ready to test the limit of its understanding.

Since November of 2022 the term “ChatGPT” has gone viral on Google trends all over the world.

Google Trends chart showing that term “ChatGPT” has increased
Term “ChatGPT” on Google Trends.

The impact was so heavy that in less than a week ChatGPT crossed the one million users line. For comparison, it took more than 2 years for Spotify to get there.

Year by year technology evolves more quickly, and new software and devices are presented to the market every week. Why is this chat so relevant?

A demolished wall

We all see technology as a bunch of devices to store, retrieve and process data for us.

Until now most people have the understanding that our computers could only execute pre-processed steps written by a human in some programming language.

The IA surpassed the above sentence a long time ago. But now the public can see it without paying. The capacity to mirror our creativity.

A broken wall image
Broken wall.

ChatGPT is one of many market technologies that can reproduce human behavior.

Synthesia has created a human-like avatar that reads what you read perfectly and lets you use it to create videos without exposing yourself. The avatar is indistinguishable from an actual human.

Synthesia screen-shot
Synthesia platform screen-shot — Source: Synthesia website

The Jasper company is selling its AI service to create images based on some text descriptions given by the user. Pictures that would cost a fortune to hire a designer to draw.

More than that, another AI capable of creating images has won an art contest in Colorado.

Image artificially created by Jasper’s artificial intelligence
Image created by Jasper’s AI — Source: Jasper's website

For most, the creative work would be the last thing our machines could reach, and here we are!

Uncanny valley

See an AI evolving so fast can lead us to uncomfortable thoughts. A theory that explains it is the Uncanny Valley Hypothesis.

Let's ask Wikipedia for a definition…

The uncanny valley is a hypothesized relation between an object’s degree of resemblance to a human being and the emotional response to the object. The concept suggests that humanoid objects that imperfectly resemble actual human beings provoke uncanny or strangely familiar feelings of uneasiness and revulsion in observers. — Wikipedia

The uncanny valley tries to explain our emotional triggers with human-like appearance things. But I believe that it can be extended to non-appearance-related situations.

Uncanny Valley Hypothesis Chart
Uncanny valley hypothesis chart

A machine understanding us talking seems uncomfortable, horror movies use sounds of people talking but with some noisy effect all the time to arouse fear.

We fear things like us (but not us) have the same power we have, but that doesn’t mean the start of a war.

The own uncertainty of the future is also pretty scary, but keeping optimistic about it is an important part of living.

Do we need to worry about our future technology?

That depends! Most of our current sophisticated AI is based on our behavior, So it’s implicit that it can be rude, racist, partial, and arrogant. We can prevent a machine from reproducing the ugly side of our thinking model.

Future Exterminator’s movie scene
Future Exterminator's movie scene — Source: polygon.com

Keep in mind that in this world, nothing is bad or good. Check out that interesting phrase by Jordan Peterson about gender equality:

There’s only two reasons that men & women differ: One is cultural, and the other is biological. And if you minimize the cultural differences, you maximize the biological differences. — Jordan Peterson.

If we remove some intrinsic cultural characteristics from the AI, the result can be an even worse scenario that we won’t understand.

So, not being hurt by our technology is indispensable before we give authority to our machines, the human race needs to move on some steps to self-knowledge.

What should we be worried about?

The World Economic Forum released a report (2023 version) about the current risks that we should be aware of.

Basically in the short term, the main problem will be an economic crisis led by an unsustainable cost of living.

In the long term, the worst problem is our failure to mitigate climate change ending in natural disasters, biodiversity loss, and ecosystem collapse. =)

As you see, we are more likely to kill ourselves than start a war against machines.

What should we do now?

About AI? Nothing! ChatGPT is just for entertainment, and other AIs are been used as tools for decision support or content creation. They do not have decision power.

To create the best version of our art, we need to be the best version of ourselves. So let’s keep moving forward and looking for an optimistic future.

If they are our creations, so we must carry the responsibility!

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Felipe Emídio

Front-end developer searching for a better version of my code.