With the recent hype around ChatGPT, GPT-4, and large language models in general, communities like Hacker News are breaking out into a this time it’s different doom and gloom.
While no one can predict the future, we can at least think about some possibilities for what can happen and maybe think about what is less likely to happen.
To summarize, I do not see us approaching the Singularity soon. Still, the recent progress, especially around GPT-4, suggests that analogous to the word processor, spellchecking, code reuse, and other time-saving and accuracy-improving measures will make a significant chunk of our tedious day-to-day work superfluous and allow us to focus on the more essential things (vs. the urgent, but not important). Who is us in this context? We are knowledge workers. We use our knowledge of this world and intellect to shape information and communicate it to others. We devise new contraptions and schemes and strive to improve or exploit something.
There were many moments in history where at least some people must have thought: This is it. There will be no more work left for us to perform. Let’s look at some of these moments and see how they turned out.