My best friend Chat

To my surprise, as part of my university course, I had to learn to code. As someone who barely knows how Google works, it was daunting. But my saviour was the mighty ChatGPT. My best friend Chat never failed to fix the never-ending red list of errors in my code. Chat is one of the best coders in the business, but ironically, itself is nothing more than a code. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) was once a Hollywood pipe dream with intelligent robots like C3PO in Star Wars. But now, AI like ChatGPT permeates our daily lives, from writing emails to reshaping entire industries. We find ourselves in the age of AI. 

As a non-tech-savvy student, I often feel like I am treading water in a sea of conspiracy theories as I attempt to navigate this ‘no-man’s land’. AI is described as computers capable of replicating human intellect. Yet, to merely mimic falls short of capturing the complexities of human emotion and consciousness. While Hollywood may depict AI as robots that love, it remains far from reality. So, is AI just the latest buzzword or are robots taking our jobs? 

An excellent case study is AI’s place in university. Coding programs like the ones I have followed often encourage students to use ChatGPT to help them gain a deeper understanding. As students, we should learn with ChatGPT’s help, not from letting Chat do it for us. Thus, the responsibility lies on us, not so much our educators. 

We should learn with ChatGPT’s help, not from letting Chat do it for us. Thus, the responsibility lies on us, not so much our educators

The world of AI is uncharted waters, but history has seen some paradigm shifts before. We have the capabilities to adapt, by far outsmarting any mechanic rival. Uncertainty of future jobs are usually from a past generation’s perspective. According to the World Economic Forum, by 2025, about 85 million existing jobs might be replaced by AI, but it will create roughly 97 million new and diverse job opportunities. Students can be at the frontlines of this innovation by utilizing the knowledge of AI. 

However, the waters are not only uncharted but also shark infested. John Crace, a Guardian columnist, states that even the creators of AI are wary of its ‘dark side’. He added that the technology is in the hands of only a select few corporations. Past scientific advancement that led to nuclear weapons should serve as a lesson on how powerful knowledge can be. 

So, I will leave my comfort zone to go swimming with the sharks. With ChatGPT’s help in my Python code, soon I will hiss like the locals, because AI is not just a trend; it is here to stay. The question is thus not if but how. How are you going to utilize AI’s potential for the future that you envision?

CARLA ERASMUS

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