Das ka Dum with Dr Bhaskar Das | Will ChatGPT see the end of journalists? We asked ChatGPT the question, and got an interesting response. What’s your view?

24 Jan,2023

Bhaskar DasLet’s get right into the answer by Dr Bhaskar Das in the January 24 edition of Das ka Dum. Read on…


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Q. Will ChatGPT see the end of journalists? Before you answer, here’s what ChatGPT responded when we asked this question?


A. Here’s ChatGPT’s answer to our question:

It is unlikely that ChatGPT or any other technology will completely replace journalists. While language models like ChatGPT can generate human-like text, the role of journalists goes beyond just writing. Journalists are responsible for researching, fact-checking, and providing context and analysis for the news. Additionally, many aspects of journalism, such as interviewing sources and covering live events, require human judgement and intuition. However, it is possible that the use of language models in journalism may lead to changes in the way news is produced and consumed.


What’s your view?


I loved your question. There are multiple aspects of my thoughts on the subject. Though I am a digital immigrant, I understand digital natives have not yet got the hang of it exhaustively. So, I took the help of a tech savvy guy to request ChatGPT to write my obituary. I was disappointed. It doesn’t read like the obit The Economist. It is quite possible that there is not much content to write in my obit , but I thought of trying a few more articles but they gave rise to a few thoughts on the subject.


But before that I must mention as two caveats that

a) I am not fully aware of the tech development on the subject, and

b) my unrepresentative experience of ChatGPT isn’t exhaustive to arrive at any conclusion in respect of your question. Hence my answer would only be pertinent as of today.


Now I can share my soliloquy on the subject: your question is very pertinent given the smartness of the new technology. AI Open’s ChatGPT is taking the world by storm. AI can upend every business in some form and can impact our behaviour in unimaginable ways. ChatGPT has many features that can impact many professions for sure. It has many advantages and its growing popularity has made Goggle anxious. But these are early days and it is difficult to exhaustively predict how it can influence many professions.


But would journalist community/ freelancers consider the new tech as competitors/ adversaries (ChatGPT vs journalists) or as a new way to collaborate? Some pessimists might aver that the algorithm would defeat human intelligence and that’s bad news for the consuming audience.


At this juncture, I would like to state that (as is my wont) usually one can find truth in the middle and not necessarily at the extremes. For instance, even a ChatGPT copy/ visual/ design might require post-creation touch up for a hyper-personalised experience audience which has already been an imperative for organisations as to how to interact with their stakeholders.


Also, will ChatGPT be able to converse to develop a bond between the reader and the writer or would “The Reality“ get reflected in the ChatGPT output as it follows an algorithm (dependent on pattern recognition from large database)? The demagogues or those who are prolific in rhetorics might have a field day as truth can easily manipulated , and facts can be sacrificed at the altar of reality.


Am I responding like the so-called Old School of thought who loves to hate new technological progress? Possible, or am I thinking that we shall all be sophists in an age of post- ChatGPT?


Too long a soliloquy that creates more opaqueness than light to your question.


So here is my candid answer: I strongly feel that journalists would always required even after ChatGPT storm takes over the world, as they shall improve the copy for better interactivity with their audience and give a realistic version of the world around them (audience) to enable them to decode meaning out of from a plethora of manufactured reality by algorithms. And this would be true for other professions too. In fact the efficiency might go up, provided the originality of human mind continues to go into a higher plane. So instead of competing with ChatGPT, it might be a better idea to complement it through an imaginative mind.


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