ChatGPT will replace African creatives? Let’s calm down, please

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January 18, 2023
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4 mins read

After someone told me about ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence (AI) powered chatbot capable of giving impressive answers to complicated questions and even responding to follow-ups, my first question was, “Can ChatGPT do my job?

I decided to ask ChatGPT itself if it could take the jobs of African creatives, and here’s what it said.

“African creatives, including artists, writers, and designers, bring a unique perspective and cultural richness to their work that cannot be replicated by artificial intelligence (AI). 

“While AI technology has advanced rapidly in recent years and has the ability to create art, write stories, and design products, it lacks the emotional depth and cultural understanding that human creators possess.”

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However, publications like the Guardian said, “professors, programmers and journalists could all be out of a job in just a few years.” 

After using ChatGPT for a while, I can say, as a matter of fact, that will not happen anytime soon. In this article, we’ll look at how ChatGPT works and why it is not taking your job anytime soon. 

What is ChatGPT?

Can ChatGPT replace African creatives

ChatGPT is a conversational language model trained on a large dataset of conversational transcripts to give human-like responses to questions. It is one of the products of an AI research lab known as OpenAI. 

Founded by Elon Musk and Sam Altman in 2015, the lab also developed DALL.E 2, an AI system that can create images for you by following your descriptions. 

The GPT in ChatGPT stands for Generative Pre-training Transformer, which means the human-like responses the AI generates are extracted from publicly available datasets. 

How was ChatGPT built?

Like most forms of AI, ChatGPT is trained by feeding it data. However, it is a large language model (LLM) trained with enormous data to predict the next word in natural and conversational language. 

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According to an article by Stanford University researchers Alex Tamkin and Deep Ganguli, “GPT-3 has 175 billion parameters and was trained on 570 gigabytes of text. For comparison, its predecessor, GPT-2, was over 100 times smaller at 1.5 billion parameters.

“This increase in scale drastically changes the behaviour of the model — GPT-3 is able to perform tasks it was not explicitly trained on, like translating sentences from English to French, with few to no training examples.

“This behaviour was mostly absent in GPT-2. Furthermore, for some tasks, GPT-3 outperforms models that were explicitly trained to solve those tasks, although, in other tasks, it falls short.”

ChatGPT was trained with sources like Reddit to understand human-like dialogue and improve its accuracy in answers and humanness.

The creators went further by training it with human feedback to understand what humans expected when they asked a particular type of question. 

According to Search Engine Journals, “What sets ChatGPT apart from a simple chatbot is that it was specifically trained to understand the human intent in a question and provide helpful, truthful, and harmless answers.”

With the amount of work that has gone into creating this AI, the question is, can it take my job? But more importantly, can it replace African creatives? 

ChatGPT has general limitations, including limitations to toxic responses and the correctness of answers. However, more significant limitations will prevent it from replacing African creatives anytime soon. 

Why ChatGPT cannot replace African creatives

developers brainstorming ideas looking code computer screens asking feedback from senior developer while intern joins discussion junior programmers collaborating group project

Interestingly, the nifty little AI provided some valid reasons why it won’t be able to replace African creatives, and they include the following: 

Cultural understanding

DALL·E 2023 01 18 08.39.51 artificial intelligence and an African man sword fighting
Image by DALL-E 2

Creating African content involves displaying a deep understanding of African cultural nuances. For now, connecting with audiences on a cultural level is not so easy for ChatGPT. While we’ve seen it show a level of proficiency in pidgin and other languages, infusing cultural nuances into these languages is still a stretch fot the bot. 

Separating fact from fiction

While researching, I could tell what was true and what wasn’t. While ChatGPT can write you a beautiful essay, chances are some of the information might need to be corrected. 

For example, when the AI was used to write an article about ChatGPT, it generated fake quotes and claimed John Smith, an OpenAI researcher, made them. 

ChatGPT can be seen more as an AI system trained to organise words in a way that humans will find exciting; however, detecting whether its sources are trustworthy is something it cannot do for now. 

Emotional depth

An AI system cannot replace personal experiences. African creators can express emotions and feelings by reaching into a wealth of personal experiences, something AI might never have. 

Creativity

According to tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee (MKBHD), AI will not replace online creators because it is incapable of imagination, creativity, and a human perspective. “It’s a tool, not a creator,” Brownlee said. 

ChatGPT cannot understand the emotional trauma of the #EndSARS protests; it cannot re-create content about how African parents react to new technologies. 

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However, it can complement what we do the same way Google searches and AI assistants do.

ChatGTP partly suggested this article’s headline after many iterations. 

Will AI someday render me useless at Techpoint Africa? Maybe, but for now, I and the many African creatives out there have nothing to worry about. You have my word.

Featured Image by DCStudio on Freepik

He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
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