Weekend reading: Never send a human to do a machine’s job

What caught my eye this week.

This week, the world of investing is buzzing about ChatGPT, a revolutionary new development in the field of artificial intelligence and natural language processing.

ChatGPT, or ‘Chat Generative Pretrained Transformer,’ is a large language model trained by OpenAI. It has the ability to generate human-like text based on a given prompt, making it a powerful tool for a variety of applications.

One of the most exciting possibilities for ChatGPT is its potential to disrupt the world of online communication. With its ability to generate realistic-sounding text, ChatGPT has the potential to revolutionize the way companies communicate with their audiences.

For investors, the emergence of ChatGPT and other AI technologies raises some important questions. How will these technologies impact the companies in which we invest? And how should we adjust our investment strategies in response?

One potential consequence of the rise of AI is that it could lead to increased automation in various industries. This could reduce the demand for human labor, leading to job losses and potentially impacting the bottom line of companies that rely heavily on human workers.

At the same time, however, the development of AI technologies could also create new opportunities for growth. Companies that are able to effectively utilize AI and natural language processing could see increased efficiency and productivity, leading to improved financial performance.

However, there are also some potential downsides to the widespread use of AI for content creation. With large amounts of automatically-generated content being produced without human oversight, there is a risk of unreliable or even fraudulent information being disseminated. This could have negative consequences for both companies and investors.

Furthermore, the use of AI-generated content could also make it easier for companies to disseminate convincing-sounding but ultimately flawed financial advice. The average person may not have the knowledge or expertise to spot the difference between reliable information and fake news generated by AI. This could put them at a disadvantage when making investment decisions.

In order to navigate these potential shifts in the market, it’s important for investors to stay informed about the latest developments in AI and natural language processing. By keeping a close eye on the companies that are leading the way in these areas, investors can position themselves to capitalize on the opportunities presented by these technologies while also minimizing the risks.

One way to do this is through the use of index funds. By investing in index funds, investors can own a piece of the companies that are driving the development of new technologies like ChatGPT. This means that no matter what changes the future brings, investors can be confident that they will own a share of the companies that are at the forefront of the latest technological developments.

In conclusion, everyone is excited about ChatGPT this week, and for good reason. It’s a revolutionary development that has the potential to disrupt the way companies communicate.

‘More human than human’ is our motto

What do you reckon to that, eh?

Bit flat? Lacking the puns, schoolboy humour, and anti-Brexit tirades you’ve come to expect on a Saturday from Monevator?

Yes, you guessed it – you just read the output from ChatGPT itself.

Here’s the prompt I gave it:

I suppose one bit of good news for scribble-smiths like me is that it can’t hit a word count. I asked for 700 words, and it’s delivered 479 of them.

Otherwise: cor blimey.

Observant readers may have noticed me slipping stories about machine learning into Weekend Reading for the past few years. I am both fascinated and paranoid about where this is going.

One of my few certain talents is I can extrapolate better than many people. As such I was (a) not shocked by the proficiency of this latest model and (b) am less relieved by its clear limitations.

It’s a giddy time for advancements in machine learning and AI. Personally, I think those closest to it can be complacent. I feel they don’t appreciate the rate of advance and they dwell overly on the near-term shortcomings. Sort of like you can’t tell how your own kid is growing tall and talented until a distant relative visits and is surprised.

Sure, we don’t know exactly what is growing capable with these machine learning models.

But it’s doing so quickly!

I’m afraid. I’m afraid, Dave

There’s so much to be said about this, even within the narrow terms of investing. If you want another hit then check out this beautifully written post by Indeedably:

The promise of what this technology will offer in the future in equal part excites and terrifies me. Much like the early internet I encountered during that hungover tutorial, that future promise far exceeds the realities of the current implementation.

Much like that early internet, I can already start to see just how transformative it has the potential to become. The white-collar world has long been a safe harbour for well-remunerated workers to finance a comfortable lifestyle endlessly moving data, producing slide decks, torturing spreadsheets, and writing code.

Those workers are about to experience first-hand what their agrarian, mining, and production line working forebears felt like a generation or three ago. It will be fascinating to watch the evolution.

No chatbot is going to match Indeedably’s copy anytime soon. Nor, I hope, ours.

But at the same time I’m sure that right now thousands of people trying to figure out how to spin-up vast AI content farms to game Google and suck away Internet traffic for advertising pennies. (Even though in the long run, ChatGPT-style models will kill generic content silos. And maybe even Google search).

Some spammer’s traffic gain is every other web publisher’s loss.

Perhaps me and Indeedably need to worry even sooner than I thought.

You are terminated

Maybe ChatGPT has already killed the traditional student essay. Maybe in the future we’ll have to sign everything we create (via a blockchain) to prove it isn’t a deep fake. Or that something else is a fake, by the omission of such a signature.

Perhaps we’ll have to show our identity papers to write a comment on Reddit. Already user-generated sites like Stack Overflow have been afflicted.

Will a grey goo of cruddy auto-generated verbiage swamp the Internet as we know it? Or should we be more worried about the day when everything a bot writes is really good?

For now the moderators at Stack Overflow are worried about bad ChatGPT programming code being submitted.

But in the long-run that site’s readers should be ready for its good code disrupting their jobs.

Similarly even fiction writers – indeed the entire creative class – are now on notice. Machine learning will be a tool for a while, but it could conceivably become a threat by mastering the things that we thought made us most human.

What do you think? Are you worried a young and hungry AI is coming for your salary? Let us know in the comments.

Oh, and come on England!

From Monevator

Bond terms jargon buster – Monevator

Greedy buy-to-let landlord or mortgage prisoner? – Monevator

From the archive-ator: The cost of active fund management – Monevator

News

Note: Some links are Google search results – in PC/desktop view click through to read the article. Try privacy/incognito mode to avoid cookies. Consider subscribing to sites you visit a lot.

UK banking rules in biggest shake-up in 30 years – BBC

House prices fall at their fastest rate in 14 years, says Halifax – Guardian

Would an England World Cup win boost British business? – This Is Money

Bank of England likely to raise interest rates to 3.5% next week – Yahoo Finance

BP agrees to install up to 900 EV charge points at 70 M&S retail outlets – This Is Money

‘Goblin mode’ chosen as OED’s word of the year – CNN

UK set to unleash an historic debt deluge [Search result]FT

Products and services

Mortgage lenders cut rates by up to 1% ahead of base rate hike – FT Adviser

Financial advice: is it value for money? [Search result]FT

Last chance to claim! Cashback offer expires 12 December Open an account with InvestEngine via our affiliate link and get £25 when you invest at least £100 (new customers only, T&Cs apply). Capital at risk – InvestEngine

Postcode checker: how has your High Street changed since 2020? – BBC

Does tin foil behind the radiator beat the cold? – Guardian

Taxpayers on the hook for billions from energy supplier failures [Podcast]A Long Time In Finance

Hargreaves Lansdown is offering £50 to £1,000 cashback when you transfer your ISA and £100 to £1,500 cashback when you transfer your SIPP (terms apply to both offers)

Should you ever use or buy gift cards? – Be Clever With Your Cash

Mortgage brokers are training as mental health first-aiders to support vulnerable homeowners – This Is Money

“Thameslink fined me for sitting in the wrong seat even though I had a ticket”Guardian

Homes for a cozy Christmas, in pictures – Guardian

Comment and opinion

Debunking myths about 60/40 style portfolios – Vanguard

Nest’s target-date funds and the perils of dead wax – Henry Tapper

A history of the UK national debt [Podcast]A Long Time In Finance

Bonds versus bond funds over the past year [US but relevant]Morningstar

How to get rich by working for it – Darius Foroux

Don’t get lost in a down stock market – A Teachable Moment

What is fractional ownership? And is it the new buy-to-let? – Yahoo Finance

Do you think about money differently compared to a year ago? – Humble Dollar

Privilege doesn’t start with the super-rich [Search result]FT

How to host huge family gatherings through the generations – Humble Dollar

Crypt o’ crypto

iPod creator Tony Fadell is trying to build the iPod of crypto for LedgerWired

Naughty corner: Active antics

US small cap stocks look really cheap – Morningstar

An interview with UK small cap tipster Simon Thompson – Investor’s Chronicle

How a basket of ETFs mimicked the performance of top hedge funds – Institutional Investor

Elon Musk gambled big on Twitter. Tesla will pay the price – Insider

Covid corner

The phase of the pandemic where we pretend it’s 2019 – The Atlantic

China’s health system isn’t ready for the end of ‘zero Covid’ – Vox

The country also needs better Covid vaccines – Slate

Even now, nobody wants to confront the awful truth about Britain’s lockdowns – Douglas Murray

Yes, immunity debt was worth it – Slate [and how this headline evolved – Unherd]

Kindle book bargains

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou – £0.99 on Kindle

Surrounded by Bad Bosses and Lazy Employees by Thomas Erikson – £0.99 on Kindle

The Business Book by DK Publishing – £1.99 on Kindle

Quiet Leadership: Winning Hearts, Minds, and Matches by Carlo Ancelotti – £0.99 on Kindle

Environmental factors

Vanguard quits net zero alliance, citing need for independence – Reuters

Mumbai embraces its booming flamingo population – Hakai Magazine

Sperm counts are falling worldwide. Why? [Podcast]The Ringer

ESG funds are rethinking the case for nuclear – Morningstar

Off our beat

Ideas that changed my life – Morgan Housel

AirBnB is WeWork – Dror Poleg

Credit cards as a legacy system [Really fascinating read]Bits About Money

Almost everyone in South Korea is about to become one or two years younger – Reuters

Our new love affair with the office is a step towards a better philosophy of work – Guardian

The Dad-ification of fashion – The Cut

Is America still on the path to authoritarianism? – Brian Klass

How to hold contradictory ideas in your head at once – Ryan Holiday

And finally…

“He commuted to his Canadian office in a Ferrari, though sometimes snowy conditions forced him to use Bentley.”
– Sebastian Mallaby, More Money than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of the New Elite

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Machine learning will change the world – or so it says – plus the rest of the week’s good reads…
The post Weekend reading: Never send a human to do a machine’s job appeared first on Monevator.

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