ChatGPT has had me thinking a lot about how it will change many white-collar jobs. So much of marketing, PR, product management, and even finance is researching and compiling your findings into something useful for higher-ups and the broader company. ChatGPT is going to take lower- and mid-level jobs away because the research and compilation won’t take the time it previously did.
So where is the value-add? People will need to learn how to add real value to these recaps. You should use ChatGPT and push it as far as it can go, and then apply your unique knowledge that the AI doesn’t have – inside company information, and unpublished trends that dispute the common beliefs. Ultimately, we need to advise on what the company should do in light of the research. The real value is about having a unique POV and backing it up. And, your advice and insights must prove out over time.
That kind of intelligence and critical thinking is hard to teach. Many people have relied on good research skills to cover for not having an actual POV.
I also think that we’ve spent so much time worrying about machines taking over physical human jobs far more than white-collar jobs, but ChatGPT will change white-collar jobs overnight… faster than physical work because there’s low/no cost of entry to implement ChatGPT. The automation of a supply chain is expensive for companies because it means new machinery and a redesign of complex workflows. ChatGPT, however… is free. And soon, I’m sure it’ll be possible to deploy it within companies’ intranets so it’ll learn that content too.
If I still worked full time and ran a marketing and comms team like I used to, or ran an agency for PR and marketing, I’d immediately have a team identifying what kind of work can be replaced with this, and then cutting those roles or hiring less of them in the future. I’d also be changing my pitches and team structures to not build in so much time for this kind of work. Both internally and at agencies, no one wants to pay either in headcount or agency fees for work that can be done far more effectively and efficiently. Yes, there are flaws and risks with using or relying on ChatGPT – it’s using “fake news,” it will be sanitized by its programmers, it may be too simplistic, etc. But again, it’ll come down to critical thinking in defining the right terms and follow-up prompts and knowing enough to figure out where you need to dig in further. And again, that’s not something that many people are actually good at and it’s not low level corporate work.
So time to get on it, because if you don’t, that coworker wanting to steal your job, or that agency ready to eat your lunch already is using it and thinking about how to evolve. Smart agencies and employees have already been selling their POV, so this isn’t fully blindsiding them, but the future is here and you’re late if you aren’t already thinking about this. You know how it goes, adapt or die.
Photo by Erika Goodmanson – POV of Being Sicilian in Sicily