Are we too reliant on AI already?

by | Jul 26, 2023 | AI

With the massive advances in AI, are we ALREADY becoming too reliant on it and not using our brains?

I had to do something recently with some data I had in a CSV file. The information was the results of a survey I did where I collected information about speakers for an upcoming conference.  There were numerous fields about the speakers with their names, contact details, session information etc. We had used Microsoft Forms to collect all the information and needed to get it into a state where our review group could easily see what each speaker was proposing, make comments on it etc.  I figured the best way for me would be to turn this CSV into a word document with one page per entry and then allow our speaker reviewers to make comments on each page.  Should be simple right…

Now I decided further that I would see what ChatGPT could do for me as while I’m an amateur coder, I’m no expert. I figured a quick script could easily turn this CSV into something better and we’d be done.

I asked ChatGPT to give me a script to turn a CSV file into a word document with one page per record.

It responded by writing a beautiful python script for me in seconds. Woohoo.  Except I know nothing of python nor do I have any of the required config setup.  So I told it “no do it in PowerShell”.  Again in seconds it wrote a PowerShell script to do it.  AWESOME I thought.

Took the PowerShell script, saved it, modified the source and destination files and folders and ran it. It produced a single page with nothing in it.. Hmmm.  Ok I figured, I know enough PowerShell to be dangerous and I sat there for the next 30 minutes messing with it to try to make it work, and gave up in frustration.  All up at that point I’d spent maybe an hour trying to do what should be a dead simple job.  I walked away from the computer in discussed and went and poured myself a refreshing drink. Ok it was a glass of scotch because well it was after work hours and why not!

While pouring my drink I thought back to the days when we would take names and addresses and produce address labels… what was that thing called.. Oh a Mail Merge.

Went back to the computer and decided to open Word, then do a Mail Merge to a word document, imported the field names from the CSV and before my ice started to melt had the word document I wanted.. Voila!  Mission accomplished.

Now while I drank my scotch, I thought, how much more time would I have wasted trying to get the script to run if I had not had the old school experience of mail merge. 

How much time would I bother losing by relying on the AI to do the work instead of real world knowledge?

Are we ALREADY becoming so reliant on AI to do things for us that we are forgetting real knowledge?

Is this drive towards using AI going to create a generation of “dumber” people?

I’m keen for other peoples take on this too. Whilst I am not one to stall the use of technology where it has real benefits, are we thinking clearly about this as part of our adoption plan?

About Wayne

Wayne is a highly experienced technology expert, former business owner, and Virtual CIO, passionate about helping businesses optimize their technology investments for success.