Data scientists are often asked to be a “jack of all trades.” From domain expertise to probability and statistics, programming, machine learning, and more, you are always juggling tasks. But you also have to keep adapting. This is the burden of the jack of all trades and master of none. Work can feel overwhelming. But fewer know the whole phrase: “a jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” This is where data scientists seem to be finding themselves in 2023. You are at the cutting edge of the intersection of constantly developing fields, and so, it can feel like you too must keep chasing, keep running, to meet the ever-moving pinnacle of technical innovation. And yet another tool comes to the forefront of everyone’s minds: ChatGPT.
And then of course, it crashes because everyone’s using it. The good news is that, OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT and the viral art generating tool, DALL-E, has an API, that lets you get around ChatGPT’s “at-capacity” messages. With just a few lines of code, you can generate your own AI text, datasets, and more. At the time of writing, you get up to $18 in credits towards using the API. These credits expire 3 months after you create an account and API key.
As with any other tech that captures the attention of millions, people have a lot of opinions that we’re hearing about all of the time. And it feels like if you aren’t optimally using ChatGPT right now, you’re behind. Especially with internet virality, overnight sensations seem to both proliferate, and to buck all reason. What ensues is mass panic, fear, and hysteria as well as mass hype, excitement, and expectation. But mostly paralysis. We start “doom-scrolling,” weighing the pros and cons of whether to use ChatGPT or not. When the answer is just–try it out, wait, and see what happens. Whatever learnings you gain from trying out ChatGPT is worth the risk of trying in the first place.
We’ve heard it before: the internet makes us more forgetful because we’re consuming so much information. How many tech trends have come and gone just in the last 10 years? There are so many things seeking our attention, and we don’t have the time to consume them all, understand all of them in-depth, and keep moving forward. We forget more than ever the actuality of slow, meaningful progress.
In John Green’s recent book, The Anthropocene Reviewed, he quotes novelist Philip Roth, saying “history is where ‘everything unexpected in its own time is chronicled on the page as inevitable.’”
We forget how easy it is to dig up skepticism and criticism of products and things we never used to use. Just Google “iPhone skeptics" (image above retrieved on January 25, 2023). You’ll find a myriad of smart, informed people in the space that laughed at Steve Jobs, and articles talking about how these people laughed at Steve Jobs, and were so wrong. This does not take away their credentials or their experience. They were just wrong, and didn’t know how history was going to unfold. Neither did Steve Jobs or their team. It’s so easy now to look back at how the iPhone became so common, and to say iPhone dominance was inevitable. But when the iPhone first came out, Apple was taking a risk, and betting on their product, company, and ability to adapt. Right now, a lot of people are betting on ChatGPT too.
The irony is that no matter what AI can do, including create extremely accurate predictions based on extremely complex math, is that AI cannot tell us what will actually happen–it can only give us a really good guess, based on whatever data we give it.
The Verge wrote an article covering an interview with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, focusing on his quote “people are begging to be disappointed and they will be.” People WILL be disappointed, no doubt, because our imaginations tend to be more forceful than the reality of what is a group of smart, hard-working engineers, business leaders, researchers, advisors, and other invisible people, behind computers, trying things, failing, and making things work anyhow.
You might not be a master in AI generated text, but it could help you out in your everyday life. From generating emails to creating first drafts of copy or synthetic datasets, to even turning pseudo code into real code, OpenAI has many use-cases. It is a tool, and tools are meant to be used–responsibly. It is still up to you to decide what works for you, and what is or isn’t acceptable for your industry and field. Using ChatGPT or OpenAI-based tools does not absolve you of your responsibilities. In fact, AI assistance is something that has been slowly entering our lives for a while (think autocomplete search or even autocorrect). The role that we play as users of AI assistance just seems to be shifting because of how accessible a tool like ChatGPT now is.
There are definitely issues we as users and consumers need to think through. But ChatGPT existing means it's time to leverage AI assistance if you haven't already. Whether it’s ChatGPT or some competitor no one knows about yet, AI assistance is (and has been) available for a while. It’s just packaged better for 2023, and you have more control over what it can do. It could disappoint you. It could surprise you. Frankly, even ChatGPT doesn’t know what’s next.
Einblick is an agile data science platform that provides data scientists with a collaborative workflow to swiftly explore data, build predictive models, and deploy data apps. Founded in 2020, Einblick was developed based on six years of research at MIT and Brown University. Einblick customers include Cisco, DARPA, Fuji, NetApp and USDA. Einblick is funded by Amplify Partners, Flybridge, Samsung Next, Dell Technologies Capital, and Intel Capital. For more information, please visit www.einblick.ai and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.