Have we found the modern-day Pandora’s box?

United Kingdom, Feb 7, 2023

By Mark Benson, Logicalis UKI CTO

So unless you have been hiding in a cave or living under a large rock, you will have heard of ChatGPT - the revolutionary AI that has taken the world by storm. In its first five days, it managed to amass 1M users and looking ahead it is projected to be able to achieve revenues of $1B by the end of 2024. That is seriously impressive - and technology like this doesn’t come along very often. But what is going to be the impact on the world of this new AI and have we opened a modern-day Pandora’s Box?

Now for those of you not up to date on your Greek history, Pandora’s Box was an artifact that contained all of the world’s evils and, if opened, they would be a curse on the world and all mankind. For starters, before anyone jumps on me, I am not saying that ChatGPT is evil. But humans have a great knack of using technology for both good and bad.

Just as Pandora's Box contained all the evils of the world, ChatGPT contains a seriously large amount of knowledge and information (it works on 175 billion parameters today). The model has been trained on a massive dataset of text, allowing it to understand and respond to a wide range of topics and questions that users ask.

However, just as opening Pandora's Box released the evils contained within, using ChatGPT also comes with potential drawbacks. The model can generate text that can be misleading or harmful, such as fake news or hate speech. It can also be utilised by criminals to create hacking tools and in fact in December a report from Check Point highlighted that the AI had been utilised to write malware, create data encryption tools and write code creating new dark web marketplaces. Hacking at speed some might say!

Additionally, just as Pandora's curiosity ultimately led to the release of the evils from the box, the potential for misuse of ChatGPT highlights the need for caution and ethical considerations in the development and deployment of AI technology.

There is the flipside though, ChatGPT is absolutely mind blowing and is going to have a positive impact on the world today. From search engines to customer service, the applications are endless, and this brings about a new challenge - training workers to get the best out of the tooling. This is a technology we need to embrace, and it is only going to get better at the job it does. However, human nature naturally makes us wary of things we don’t understand, so it is going to take time for everyone to get on board.  Looking into the future the technology will need to be woven into the Digital Foundations for many organisations. It has a role to play in the Digital Workspace, Hybrid Cloud and Digital Services, the Digital Network and Security, but we are so early in the journey it is a little unclear as to the role it will play.

As I said at the start, ChatGPT is not evil but it can be used in nefarious ways. In closing, let’s heed the words Bing Crosby sang “you’ve got to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative” as we get to grips with the possibilities that such a tool could bring to enrich our work and private lives.


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