The benefits for businesses of using AI powered language models such as ChatGPT are numerous. But what are the potential pitfalls, why should users proceed with caution, and what does the future hold?

When it was launched in November, 2022, ChatGPT attracted 1 million users within the first week, and it has now passed over 10 billion all time page visits. There’s no doubt that as an AI tool, ChatGPT is positively assisting companies across a myriad operations and departments, including but not limited to Marketing, Content Creation, Customer Services, Sales, HR, Research and Development. In the UAE, entities renowned for their digital transformation and smart services have been eager to embrace its application; Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, being a key example, where the technology is being used on its website through “Rammas”, DEWA’s virtual employee, to enhance customer experience.

Industry leaders from across the globe are quick to champion its impactful contribution to their businesses. They are benefiting from increased operational efficiencies, stronger employee and customer relationships and more targeted and successful sales drives (some are heralding it as a “lead nurturing superstar”) Leaders are quick to point out how the provision of data, insight and research materials, including competitor analysis, provided by ChatGPT, is even assisting in their strategic decision-making process. But this is an approach that should heed caution.

As with any new technology, especially where the impact is almost immediate, it’s easy to become swept away with the initial utopian solutions it appears to be providing. It’s worth considering that ChatGPT has limitations which should be acknowledged and respected before its employment becomes the architecture on which the strategic development of a business and its future depends. This is for various reasons:

ChatGPT is a Language Model (LLM), primarily designed to complete sentences by predicting the most likely next words. However, it lacks the ability to reason or discern between factual and non-factual information, leading to occasional inaccuracies in its responses.

Furthermore, in a world where real-time information is critical, with numerous platforms offering live news updates in both text and video formats, ChatGPT 3 faces limitations due to its data being last updated in September 2021. This underscores the importance of not blindly accepting information provided by ChatGPT without proper validation or further research from credible proven sources.

It’s worth noting that ChatGPT is not particularly strong in mathematical tasks either, an area where its competitor Bard outperforms it significantly. This was a contributory factor to some major US banks, including JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Chase of America heavily restricting its use by employees.

Another consideration for businesses, as the fast-paced evolution of the tool and its capabilities gathers pace, is the ability of IT departments and individuals to keep abreast of it. The launch of a new generation ChatGPT – AutoGPT – in March this year, introduced AI that has the ability to reach goals through its own reasoning, putting it in a similar calibre to what humans do and how they process information.

AutoGPT can delegate tasks to various other services. An example would be booking a direct non-stop flight from Dubai to Toronto where AutoGPT will delegate tasks to various other services such as Kayak and be fully connected with their APIs to make a booking on behalf of the user.

For businesses, the benefits of AutoGPT are limitless. Though accessibility to the tool is not currently as straightforward as ChatGPT which is available simply via a browser, there are tools such as AgentGPT that allow AutoGPT to be accessed via a browser. The Transformer architecture, which underpins modern LLMs, is becoming increasingly popular and accessible. A notable example of this is the very recent release of the iPhone 15, which utilizes Transformer architecture in its neural engines to perform complex AI tasks directly on the device, eliminating the need for an internet connection. A future where neural engines advance to the point where all processing occurs locally, without the necessity of internet connectivity is eagerly beckoning.

There are endless possibilities on the horizon, with the most sought-after goal being for AI to become sentient. If this happens, humans will need to think of ways to control its power. It will become the responsibility of business leaders and their employees to skill up and utilize this power to their advantage, or risk becoming obsolete. On an encouraging note, a recent study carried out by Statista revealed that globally individuals under the age of 34 account for 60% of ChatGPT users, with those under 24 the second largest userbase. As they represent the next generation of business leaders, it’s reassuring to know that their familiarity with and use of the emerging technology is so prevalent, auguring well for the future.