Commentary: GPT-4 could turn work into a hyperproductive hellscape

LONDON: OpenAI has announced a major upgrade to the technology that underpins ChatGPT, the seemingly magical online tool that professionals have been using to draft emails, write blog posts and more. If you think of ChatGPT as a car, the new language model known as GPT-4 adds a more powerful engine.

The old ChatGPT could only read text. The new ChatGPT can look at a photo of the contents of your fridge and suggest a dinner recipe. The old ChatGPT scored in the 10th percentile on the bar exam. The new one was in the 90th.

In the hours since its release, people have used it to create a website from a hand-drawn sketch or look through a dating website for an ideal partner.

But this is the fun part of unleashing a powerful language model to the public. The honeymoon period. What are the long-term consequences? OpenAI (once again) hasn’t disclosed the datasets it used to train GPT-4, so that means researchers can’t scrutinise the model to determine how it might inadvertently manipulate or misinform people.

More broadly though, it ushers in a new era of hyper-efficiency, where professionals will have to work smarter and faster – or perish.


There is no better example of this than Morgan Stanley, which has been using GPT-4 since last year. According to an announcement by the bank on Tuesday, Morgan Stanley trained GPT-4 on thousands of papers published by its analysts on capital markets, asset classes, industry analysis and more, to create a chatbot for its own wealth advisers. About 200 staff at the bank have been using it daily, the company said.

“Think of it as having our Chief Investment Strategist, Chief Global Economist, Global Equities Strategist and every other analyst around the globe on call for every advisor, every day,” Morgan Stanley analytics chief Jeff McMillan said in an official statement.

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