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January 25, 2023

The meaning of work in times of transformers.

Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

We are involved in the process of exponential change, the GPTs (Generative Pre-trained Transformers) have crept into our lives, and nothing will ever be the same again; technologies are exponential, but we humans are still linear, we are not good at long-term planning, and that is when conflict and disagreements arise.

We haven’t even had ChatGPT for two months, and human reactions have been very disparate, from the initial surprise and amazement to the fear and anxiety of losing our jobs, of becoming completely obsolete, for all of us who are dedicated to knowledge-based professions.

Faced with such an uproar, on a personal level, I made a decision; I would include ChatGPT in 100% of the daily tasks I perform in my company; in proof of concept mode, I have changed my workflows in one month; Over the years, I have been telling you in the blog the degree of implementation of AI in our work, it started with 20%, we went to 40%, then to 70%, and now we are at 100%.

The business’s value proposition pivoted itself in 2020 with the beginning of the developments towards 100% generative AI software. Still, in the sequence that I commented on above, I do not refer to the product itself, what is seen from the outside. Still, in the internal work of the company, what is not seen inside, I can say that today, both outside and inside, we are a startup in which AI has crept to 100% in all activities and tasks.

I have been working for years at a very low level with these models, dedicating my time to them in the working day, and ChatGPT (GPT-3.5) does not stop surprising me every day, before its launch on November 30, 2022, we were at 0.01 mm, in the GPT-3 version, and that minimal change has been brutal, I do not want to think the shock that means for someone who was 1000 km away and has entered this game from scratch.

I know where these models fail, and on the first day, in the first interactions, they focused on getting out the bugs that came from the previous version and that in GPT-3. Five are still unresolved, then I thought, why the first thing to get bugs out? You will find on Twitter and LinkedIn the great eminences in AI continuously publishing the bugs; I changed the perspective 180 degrees and started to get the virtues; my goal was that in every task that appeared in my workday, instead of going to Google, or any other source of external or internal information, I would solve it with ChatGPT.

And the results have been spectacular; I have created contracts, I have created code, I have created sales emails, I have created marketing articles, I have mined data for the company’s database, etc. In short, my experience has been very satisfactory, has helped me a lot, and is extraordinarily effective. The conclusion is that I have practically stopped using the Internet and other documentation, produced more in less time and increased productivity.

According to the experience accumulated with the tinkering of these models in these years, and to be able to take full advantage of it, my recommendation is that you create loops that feed back; ChatGPT stands out for the memory it has, you can take 15 or 20 prompts in your interaction, and it will remember the first one you did, to understand us, it follows the thread of everything you are creating.

For example, if you get stuck and you do not get the prompt to solve a particular problem, ask what prompts I can launch for task X so you are already creating a nested loop, then use those prompts, and follow them with this approach you can solve virtually any problem you face in your day to day workday.

It stands out a lot in how to program; the language of business is not English; for many years, the language of business is machine code, then it is spectacular; tighten the nuts to create machine learning code, using machine learning.

I have always been foolish with programming; between whistles and whistles, I dedicated myself to other job positions more focused on technological project management. However, I did not touch the code directly, and now I’m coming up. Although it is amplifying me in that capacity that I had rusty, it may be that the next project I assemble, along with the knowledge acquired, I will program it directly.

Reinventing work in the 2020-2030 decade.

It is worth mentioning that this year GPT-4 is coming, an evolution 571 times bigger than GPT-3, which will remain as the little dot you see in the image below; it does not mean that it will be 571 times “better” (do not think in linear), other variables influence, but there will be another significant exponential leap, as OpenAI communicated, ChatGPT will remain as a toy, when GPT-4 is launched, according to rumors, we will be able to generate texts of up to 60 pages without losing coherence, GPT-5, 6, 7, 8, 9, etc. will come. And all this will happen in a decade; imagine what we will have in 2030.

gpt-3 vs gpt-4

Another of the virtues and a fascinating use case is that you can tell ChatGPT to act as a professional X, act as an engineer, act as an accountant, act as a lawyer, act as a doctor, act as a novelist, act as a product manager, … with these instructions you are giving a working context of knowledge to work. I can assure you that ChatGPT has much more data than the best human of each specialty. You open several browser tabs, and you can create a team in the blink of an eye.

We tend to mythologize or conceptualize in a wrong way the singularity milestone as the event in which AI will equal or surpass human intelligence. When that “distant” day happens, we will worry about it, but let’s take care of what is happening today. Isn’t ChatGPT already very singular? Do you know someone, a human in your environment, that solves all the problems that ChatGPT already solves? No, I don’t, but we all have the feeling of interacting with something you haven’t outgrown yet.

In my opinion, knowledge-based work has started a profound transformation and reconversion; in all professions, I tend to be optimistic about the possibilities they offer us; in this blog, I have always referred to it in terms of abundance, but in phases, in terms of long term, not short or medium term.

I was referring to the article in Corona! You have stopped the world; I commented that after Covid would come a period of considerable labor readjustment, with the acceleration I was seeing in AI developments, a period in which much employment (as we know it today) would be destroyed, but which would open up in the long term a host of new ideas that will take the economy to unimaginable levels of abundance and welfare.

It will impact primarily in the first instance to knowledge jobs with low added level, a copywriter who is dedicated to making articles for SEO, for example, a lawyer who is dedicated exclusively to drafting contracts, will see ChatGPT as a very high risk, a lawyer who handles complex cases, A doctor will see it as an augmentative aid in a diagnosis, but will continue to validate a treatment, or create a personalized drug, the former will need a complete reconversion, and the latter, a total change in their way of working, in their day to day workflow.

The ability to adapt to the environment will be the first skill to develop when automation makes a large part of our daily work execution, soft skills, communication, empathy, teamwork, negotiation, public relations, as well as intrapersonal skills of autonomy, time organization or self-motivation will be more important than ever, making us more human.

As professionals, we will be in a continuous flow of professional recycling and retraining, retraining, retraining, retraining, retraining, and improvement; understand that each new version of GPT-X that is released will force you to start again; it will be like starting to work from scratch, like a reset, in each version you will discover new ways of working that had escaped you in the previous one, you will have to unlearn and learn continuously.

AI-based economics, CBDCs, and subscriptions.

This technology, by definition, generates deflation; when the cost of knowledge is close to zero, it will cause an abundance of both services and knowledge-based products; that is, the supply in the market will increase, but the demand does not have to vary, and when abundance is generated, it will consequently lower prices, all these links with the theme of the CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) pilot projects that are blockchain-based tokens to represent the digital form of a nation’s fiat currency, as well as with The Great Reset: You’ll Have Nothing, and You’ll Be Happy, which exposes a subscription-based model of access to services and products without ownership.

Supply will be atomized with the entry of AI, the economy will be tokenized, and thus collide with a high unemployment rate, which will trigger high-level decisions on implementations of universal annuities with the delivery of Digital Euros if it is easy to print money, imagine how easy it is to generate digital tokens, then to combat that future deflation of the future, and increase demand, it will be stimulated based on tokens. What is not known is whether those tokens will give us enough to pay for all those subscriptions.

Please do not interpret this theory as a conspiracy; I do not feel comfortable in those places; understand it as a union of points on a board, as a projection into the future, or the creation of a probable scenario; it is very different to visualize a long-term event than to conspire without factual data, there is a slimline in these times we live in, and my intention is different, just in case I make it clear.

Experiments with universal income have shown disincentives in some cases and others the opposite, people who, having a guaranteed income, decided to start a business and dedicate themselves to what they liked and had not dared to do because they did not have the security of having the minimum needs covered.

I can make in a day 1000 artistic works with AI, which will generate an abundance of digital art, increasing the price of human art because it will be scarce. In return, it will be given much more value; it will be revalued; any human artistic task will rise, and we will provide much more weight; it can be a painting or an opinion article, and craftsmanship will never disappear.

And the lifelong professions or trades such as electricians, plumbers, mechanics, installers, bricklayers, etc., will continue to rise. However, no one is going to invest capital in replacing an electrician who has to run a cable through a tray in a basement; robotics work very badly with their hands, and they are not efficient for these tasks, opening a door, or standing on two legs, is an ordeal for a robot.

Engineers were troubled about what would happen to the carriers because of autonomous driving. We have reached 2023, and we have big problems with the viability of that technology, and the worst thing is that the new generations do not want those jobs; engineers do not see what is coming.

I am optimistic in this aspect because of how AI is changing our way of working; that is, in the previous model, we continued with the inherited industrial mentality, the factory of all life, we create processes, we use machines, we use humans as if they were machines (automatons), we work in series and parallel, came the remote work, and it was a torment, a tremendous mess for companies.

Because we still think as in the industrial era, the organization charts, structures, organization, and processes of companies follow the old pattern, we think that we are all factories of the industrial revolution, but with computers, software and Internet connection, but the production model we follow has an industrial mentality.

Currently, in our day-to-day work, we spend in task X at most 10% of our time conceptualizing a problem, critical thinking, creativity to generate ideas, looking for shortcuts, and evaluating risks, and 90% in the execution, of creating the final deliverable, we are measured more at work, by how efficient you are delivering that paper, which has not given you time to think well, than by how you solve complex problems, how you use critical thinking or creativity, many times I have heard; I have not hired you to think, but to execute, a serious mistake in the scenario we are moving in.

In the decade of transformers, you must think backward; you will spend 90% on what is essential, what generates real value, on creativity, on the problem you are solving, and 10% on the execution of the deliverable; we are no longer factories, we will all be companies with Artificial Intelligence before 2030, the scenario changes completely, factories are linear, AI-based companies must be exponential, the rules are different.

History teaches us that economies grow when creativity is used more, and new ideas, businesses, opportunities, and professions yet to be discovered arise; then, if we dedicate that 90% to creativity in the medium term, it will cause a wave of growth in the long time and abundance as we have not known, here will come the natural abundance, but hold on because there will come curves in the short and medium term.

Conclusions.

Whether you are an individual professional, a microenterprise, an SME, a multinational, or a state, pay attention to everything that is happening around Generative AI, and do not leave it for later because there may not be a last; try to understand the change in which we are from within and take the appropriate measures, you can postpone it, but you will not stop it, think then that in this scenario that arises in 2023:

What is going to be your strategy?

Within the linear limitation that we have, reflect that something exponential and disruptive is happening around you, and do not approach it from the fear that you will lose your job because you will be paralyzed; if not come from the motivation, how can I use this technology to reinvent myself, what can I do with these new superpowers? Then you will find your way.

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