ChatGPT is a form of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that has become part of everyday discourse over the last several months. It is a natural language processing tool that uses machine learning to generate responses to user input in a conversation. It is based on the GPT-3 language model developed by OpenAI. Simply put, if you ask ChatGPT to complete a text-based task for you, it will produce an answer based on the data it has already processed and learned. For example, I have used ChatGPT to produce draft content for this article that I have subsequently edited for accuracy, clarity, and coherency of narrative. A cursory search on Twitter or LinkedIn for the hashtag “#ChatGPT” will help you to find several innovative applications of this AI across various disciplines – many of which are posing serious ethical risks in areas such as academic integrity.
ChatGPT is a powerful tool but as with all power, it comes with a great ethical responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly. My musings in this article are underpinned by a fundamental principle: ChatGPT should be used as a tool to complement, not replace, critical thinking. In this blog post, I outline the innovative ways ChatGPT could positively disrupt the workplace, the risks and limitations of using ChatGPT, and how ChatGPT can be used ethically and transparently.
ChatGPT has the potential to revolutionise the way we work by providing real-time assistance and generating accurate and up-to-date information. When considering its use, I consider its potential as a workplace helper rather than a replacement for key skills and roles. The use of this AI can free up vital time for critical thinking and creative work.
I asked ChatGPT to outline ways it could be used in various workplace environments, and curated some examples based on the suggestions it provided. Here are some examples of how ChatGPT could be used to positively influence the way we work:
You may notice a trend in the above examples. This comes back to my earlier point that ChatGPT should be used to complement, but not replace, critical thinking. It can help us save time in ideas-generating, planning, and critical review, but ChatGPT should not be treated as an all-knowing entity. Limitations specific to the use of ChatGPT include:
Risks of using ChatGPT
As with any technology, using ChatGPT comes with a measure of risk that needs to be considered and mitigated against in each organisational context. Once again, I asked ChatGPT to outlines risks associated with its use (even going as far as to ask it to provide these risks in table format including descriptions). Risks for consideration include:
We can mitigate against the risks of using ChatGPT through ethical leadership practices and acting transparently. Ethical leadership can help promote both internal and external stakeholder trust in our use of any artificial intelligence. It involves setting a good example and behaving in a way that is morally and ethically correct – fundamentally showing that we are acting with integrity at the core of our activities. If we are going to use ChatGPT in the workplace, we need to be clear from the outset how we intend to use it and what systems we are going to put in place to ensure that it is used in an ethical manner.
Here are some ways you can demonstrate ethical leadership and transparency using ChatGPT:
In conclusion, ChatGPT has the potential to save time and promote critical thinking in the workplace through many innovative uses. However, it is important to use the tool ethically and transparently, with a focus on building trust and responsible use. ChatGPT should be used as a tool to complement, not replace, human judgment and analysis. Ethical leadership is key in ensuring the responsible and effective use of this technology and leading by example to promote the development of employees for the future of work