Recently, I have actually been using ChatGPT for real client work! Yes, not just talking about it or reading about it, but using it. And, it was super helpful! Here are some simple ways that it helped me.
- I was going to visit a potential client in the FMCG industry. I always like to have some business context in my discussions so I simply asked ChatGPT “What are the top 5 current issues facing the FMCG sector in Australia?” It came back with five issues in an easy to readresponse. If I’d done the same thing with Google, I would have had to wade through sponsored content and largely irrelevant articles aimed at selling you something.
- As part of process documentation that I was doing for a client, I had to create a template for formal communication in the event of a cyberattack. Now, I don’t do “formal” tone very well, so I fed ChatGPT all the details andasked it to create thecommunication “using an authoritative, formal tone”. It worked! I then did my editing and voila, template done!
- I created my cybersecurity checklist for business owners, as part of a cybersecurity toolkit that I am developing. I based this on research from many cybersecurity sites as well as experts in the field. But why not check my work with ChatGPT? So I typed in an instruction (referred to as prompts)toosee if the language model would come up with anything different. It didn’t, but it gave me some ideas on different and improved wording. Beauty.
Don’t you believe we are magic
- Don’t think of this technology as something magical. There is a lot of hype around but just think of it as a way to help you save time (like the very modest examples above). Yes, it can create these amazing images (such as the graphic used in this article – created from a very bad stick figure drawing that I drew on paper), but that may not be useful to you. So, you need to find a use case that will work for you.
- It is all in the prompting. That is, what instructions that you give it. The more clear and detailed instructions that you provide, the more accurate the response will be. People ask me if it is accurate? There are famous examples where lawyers have relied on responses generated from ChatGPT in a court room and that have proven to be incorrect. Therefore, you really need to know what you are looking for – it doesn’t replace your expertise, it only may augment it.
- I tried it once and it didn’t give me what I needed. See point 2 above. Also, how many times do we get caught thinking we can use free software and get a good experience? If you are going to explore this thoroughly, unfortunately you need the paid version. It is fairly cheap and ten times better.
A colleague of mine is an expert in this space (contact me if you need to talk to them!) and even he admits that this technology is changing so much, it is difficult to keep up. There are plugins that come and go, and then get morphed into other plugins that get morphed into the main product. Beware of spending a lot of money on training courses or consultants that make grand claims – by the time you finish the course, the method of doing something may be out of date!
Take it from a bit of a laggard – this technology is not to be feared, nor is it other-worldly. You can use ChatGPT in simple ways to make your work more productive, and maybe have a bit of fun doing it!