ChatGPT, AI, and Machine Learning—Oh My!

Casey Lindsay

I often wonder to myself, at what point does AI, ChatGPT, Machine Learning—and frankly just trying to stay at the bleeding edge of the technological revolution—get to the point of diminishing returns? Don’t get me wrong, there is a LOT of good that is coming from things like AI and ChatGPT. But there are also things that keep me up at night—and we need to talk about that too. 

What Is ChatGPT?

First, let’s cover the basics on what exactly ChatGPT is. ChatGPT is an AI chatbot developed by OpenAI that was released in November 2022. Built on top of Open AI’s GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 families of large language models, it has been fine-tuned using both supervised and reinforcement learning techniques. It has been getting a lot of much-needed attention because it is one of the most significant tech launches since the original Apple iPhone in 2007. ChatGPT stands for “Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer”. It is essentially a generative language processing tool driven by AI that allows you to have human-like conversations and interactions with a chatbot. It’s a tool that can answer questions and assist you with tasks like writing essays, composing emails, or even writing development code.

ChatGPT in Motion

Now that we’ve briefly covered what it is, let’s highlight some use cases where I believe ChatGPT carries some inherent benefits. In the classroom, I see ChatGPT reducing teacher workload and improving the student experience. ChatGPT is like having a research assistant at your fingertips. For example, as a teacher, you could prompt ChatGPT with the following: “Tell me 5 causes of the Great Depression. Also, summarize the important facts that an eighth grader should learn, including sources.” Think about how much of an increase in efficiency this teacher would have when it came to their lesson planning. You’d obviously always want to check the sources and validate this information, but, man, would this help streamline lesson prep for educators. 

What about from the students’ perspective? I fondly recall my college years, trudging to the library through rain and snow to write research papers—and maybe socialize a bit. I’d check out books, extensively research my topic, and make certain I was referencing all my sources. Those were the days of AOL and dial-up Internet—and there certainly wasn’t a chatBot you could interact with to help you write your paper. As much as I think it is valuable for kids of all ages to do the heavy lifting to earn their stripes, I also believe that it’s beneficial for them to learn and adopt these technologies and increase the efficiency of their time management while also enhancing their technology skillsets. When they hit the job market, it would be unfortunate to see opportunities pass them by because they were reluctant to learn the latest technologies. I liken ChatGPT to having a virtual tutor or study buddy to help students further contextualize concepts to gain a greater understanding in and outside of the classroom.

Now let’s change gears and have a closer look at the benefits of generative ChatGPT within healthcare and how it has the potential to revolutionize the entire healthcare industry. One obvious use case is virtual care symptom checking to help triage patients more efficiently and reduce the burden on healthcare providers. ChatGPT can even be trained to provide guidance on selfcare for minor conditions. For healthcare providers, ChatGPT can assist with administrative tasks like charting and documentation. This can help providers save time and improve the accuracy of patient records. ChatGPT also has the potential to transform the way medical research is conducted.

The Potential of Misuse

So, while I believe ChatGPT to be highly beneficial to us as a society, I think it’s just as important to talk about the scarier aspects of this application while it’s still in its infancy. First and foremost, I believe there always must be some measure of human intervention from a checks and balance standpoint. You can’t ask ChatGPT to write a medical chart for a patient without checking this detail for accuracy. Things could spiral out of control amazingly fast with inaccuracies in medical records. I also think an argument could be made that it promotes laziness, use the college research paper as a notable example. ChatGPT could literally provide you with all the details to write a college essay with very little labor on the student’s part. Is this considered cheating? Some might say it absolutely is. 

A Delicate Balance

Like all things in life, I think balance plays a key role in the use of ChatGPT. Balance between increasing efficiencies and accuracy—but not allowing the chatbot to completely take over. Balance in student life between actual learning and retention of a subject versus allowing ChatGPT to do all the work for you. Balance in healthcare from a time efficiency standpoint for the providers, but also ensuring that the generative responses are highly accurate within the medical records. I am intrigued by where we are evolving with technology and that is what has led me to author this blog. I hope some of these key points have inspired you to think about these ChatGPT use cases and perhaps areas in your life that saddling up with a chatbot by your side might bring value to you too.

Tune in to our vlog for an overview of ChatGPT, its use cases, and why human intervention will always be needed for AI technologies.

Casey Lindsay is a Strategic Software Consultant with Connection’s XLO Practice. Casey brings over 15 years of vast Microsoft experience helping Connections’ clients navigate all the complex decisions surrounding their Microsoft technology and investment strategies. When not tackling Microsoft decisions, Casey can be found outside spending time with his family traveling with their RV to create lasting memories doing things like hiking, kayaking, and paddleboarding.