ChatGPT: Love It or Hate It

C.Q. Ritty

The Glamorous Life of a Systems Engineer (SE)

Hello World! This column was NOT written by ChatGPT. It’s not that he/she/they/it (what’s the appropriate pronoun for a bot, anyhow?) couldn’t write this, but I actually did it all by my humble little self! For the record, I am a big fan of ChatGPT, whom I affectionately refer to as Chad. “He” has saved me a lot of time over the past year as I responded to several long-winded RFPs. However, the thing about Chad is that he is equally helpful for all of my competitors.

First of all, let me digress in order to make one very important point: I will never be replaced by ChatGPT, Google Bard, or any other similar platform. My overall technical experience, extensive industry contacts, riveting presentations, and all-around charming personality are entirely irreplaceable. As good as the latest AI engines may be, they are still only able to repackage public domain “facts” from the internet. They are not yet capable of innovative thinking, and that’s what I’m paid to do.

Just for the fun of it, type the following query into ChatGPT sometime: “What can a systems engineer do that ChatGPT can’t do?” The answer is actually quite enlightening.

That said, I can use my friend Chad to become more productive in several significant ways:

  • Research and information gathering
  • Education and skills development
  • Documentation (this is a biggie!)
  • Automation and scripting

All of these activities help complement my own areas of expertise, and they often lead to quicker and more accurate results for my customers.

However, there also are some downsides associated with relying upon ChatGPT, or other similar platforms, including:

  • It is very common for the platform to misinterpret the input context, which leads to unreliable output
  • Chad can talk the talk, but he can’t walk the walk (in other words, humans still need to execute all of the identified tasks)
  • Lack of creativity and innovation
  • Security and privacy concerns
  • All of Chad’s output must be carefully scrutinized before being used

The conclusion is that Chad can certainly augment a systems engineer, and he is totally doing that for all of my competitors. It is very important to allow him to help wherever possible, but it is equally important to understand his limitations.

Stay tuned for more nerdy columns about my experiences as an SE.

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