Verandah March 2023: Can you ChatGPT your way to change?

“It’s just not right!” he growled, with a tint of rage glinting in his eyes.

The week after ChatGPT was released, I was in a heated debate with my friend about the merits of AI-enabled chatbots. He was furious about how chatbots were being used to create art. He had skin in the game based on his experience of working as a production and visualization artist for game companies.

“They would save time, money and other vital resources that companies can park elsewhere”, I shot back, triumphantly.

Developers like Prisma Labs have defended AI-powered tools saying that people-made creations would be more valued. PC: PrismaAI Twitter

“You don’t get it. This isn’t just stifling creativity! It’s taking over a basic human instinct. There’s no emotion. Everything is going to end up looking the same.”

Up till this point, I thought I had him in a verbal suplex. But he was right. Where WAS the emotion in all this?

Every breakthrough in human civilisation is predicated on people asking, testing and ultimately creating a vision that contributed to a better world. These weren’t momentary releases of passion, but lifelong pursuits peppered with eureka moments, crushing lows, and triumphant breakthroughs. It gave shape to so many legendary relationships that we admire today: between scientists and lab assistants, heads of state and their campaign staff, and founders and their growth teams.

More importantly, it showed that at the centre of this change was a vital ingredient: people.

This is something that we have seen companies routinely struggle with when maximising for innovation and efficiency. Our team has repeatedly had to ask “How do you make change more inclusive? How do you make it kinder?”

Could targeted digital literacy programs be one way to ride this disruptive wave? PC: Unsplash

This has also led to us talking to those that stand to be most affected by this change. People that have suddenly found their way of life and worldview to be threatened by the advent of rapid ride this disruptive wave? 

Like my friend, the artist- but also so many others like line managers, CTOs, researchers and more.

The space for discussion needs to be widened, where we all find a seat at the decision-making table. Where we have a clearer understanding of how this change is going to impact our lives.

Chatbots, and for that matter, other disruptions, will come and go.

What’s more important is how we handle the fallout of these disruptions and how we handle change.

We would love to know your thoughts. Write back to us and share what your experience has looked like, when handling change.

A version of this article appeared in the March 2023 issue of Verandah – our expression of looking at change management, differently. To stay up to date with more thought leadership like this, sign up here:
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