ChatGPT, AI and the rise of the amateur expert

Author: Andrew Gall


Our creative team just got off a call with an AI consultant we found through TikTok. A number of us have been following her since ChatGPT's release. She's incredibly bright and insightful. And, relative to myself, really young. 

I won't repeat the mistakes of generation's past and overvalue age and experience simply because I'm older and more experienced. She's been working with GPT-3 for more than two years and, based on our initial conversation, is clearly an expert with real-world experience. 

It's been said (and alternatively, somewhat debunked) that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to get good at something. With Artificial General Intelligence and Generative AI suddenly unleashed on the world, time-tested experts are few and far between. Instead, we've seen a sudden rise in AI amateur experts - people who dedicate enough time to experiment with ChatGPT and other new AI tools that they possess a working knowledge more advanced than most. 

And that's led to a never-ending stream of content about "Million-dollar businesses you can start today with ChatGPT!" and "The list of prompts you MUST KNOW!" and "the AI tool your competition doesn't want you to find out about!!!!" And all sorts of other exclamation point-heavy headlines screaming at you. 

A powerfully exciting and scary futuristic technology that is also currently open to everyone to explore? Yeah, we feel a heightened need to get expert advice right this minute...before we fall desperately behind. 

That said, be aware of all the noise out there - and don't get sucked in by the loudest and most ubiquitous "expert" voices. Take the time to find an expert you can trust. Here are some tips on how to do that:

1. Look for AI consultants with a track record of at least two years. If someone became an AI consultant right when ChatGPT launched, it should be a red flag. Because ChatGPT is a variant of GPT-3, short for "third-generation Generative Pre-trained Transformer." GPT-3 was released in 2020. 

2. "Prompt engineers" are heavy users, not experts. At least not yet. Prompting is the base form of AI "expertise." You can easily find prompt suggestions that help you dial in outputs with a basic Google search. 

3. If you have deep pockets, go with a big gun. Large consulting groups like IBM and McKinsey arm Quantum Rock have been in the AI space for years. Of course, not everyone loves a big consulting company. 

One of the key points we took from our call with our AI consultant: it's important to apply AI based on the talents and skills of your people. You can't expect AI to create a whole new capability for you. Because at least for now, AI needs our expertise to unlock its full potential. I'm hoping that'll continue to be the case. But who knows?

Maybe I should ask an expert.