What's wrong with ChatGPT?
By Simon Johnson, Daron Acemoglu  |  Mar 17, 2023
What's wrong with ChatGPT?
Image courtesy of and under license from Shutterstock.com
ChatGPT wins high praise, but few talk of its downsides and those who may lose out as a result of it. Part of this is fear of jobs automated out of existence, though a bigger issue is that AI chatbots can be eloquent but utterly useless in solving problems that need customer aid.

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS - Microsoft is reportedly delighted with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a natural-language artificial intelligence (AI) program able to generate text that reads as if a human wrote it. Taking advantage of easy access to finance over the past decade, companies and venture-capital funds have invested billions in an AI arms race, resulting in a technology that can now be used to replace humans across a wider range of tasks. This could potentially be a disaster not only for workers, but also for consumers - even investors.
The problem for workers is obvious: There will be fewer jobs requiring strong communication skills, and thus fewer positions that pay well. Cleaners, drivers, and some other manual workers will keep their jobs, but everyone else should be afraid. Consider customer service: Instead of hiring people to interact with customers, companies will increasingly rely on generative AIs like ChatGPT to placate angry callers with clever and soothing words. Fewer entry-level jobs will mean fewer opportunities to start a career - continuing a trend established by earlier digital technologies.

Consumers, too, will suffer. Chatbots may be fine for handling entirely routine questions, but it is 

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