It’s Exciting and Scary How Amazing GPT-3 Has Become
Computers will, and should, become better writers than humans.
If you told me 12 months ago that by the end of the year computers would write better prose than most adults I’d think you are out of your mind. In 2050 for sure, but today? No way. And yet here we are: OpenAI’s GPT-3 already writes so well that it can pass not only for a human, but for a seasoned journalist from The New York Times.
This is both exciting and scary. To think that we now have access to software that can instantly compose our texts and emails, explain complex topics to us and help us to formulate our own ideas is mind blowing. It also means, though, that skills that some of us have worked on for decades to develop, can now be outsourced to a single text box on a computer screen.
And that’s only the beginning. If this trend continues, this technology will likely get better at writing than any one person could ever be. Some day in the future we may start looking at human-made prose as primitive and limited compared to the infinitely more sophisticated writing produced by computers. Sort of like the way we look at silents films from the 1920s compared to Hollywood blockbusters today.
But not all hope for human writers is lost. For the first time in history this new technology will also allow authors, journalists, editors, screenwriters, and copywriters to work with computers as collaborators, not just use them as tools. To research stories, brainstorm ideas, come up with better headlines and novel plot twists. It will supercharge the writing process and produce works no human, or computer, could make on their own.
It’s unnerving to think that technologies like GPT-3 can now pass for human writers. And it’s not going to look pretty when folks start losing their jobs because of it. But the prospect of unlocking all the creativity and ideas this way seems like a trade-off worth making. Even if it means computers, not people, will do all the reporting about it.