Everyone Should Be Calling 'Code Red' On ChatGPT

  • by , Featured Contributor, January 12, 2023
I have been working In the “new media'' field for more than three decades. Over those years, there have been four times I’ve seen technology that -- from the moment I saw it -- made clear it would fundamentally change the way we live and work.

The first was the Mosaic browser in 1993, a free browser client that made the World Wide Web a reality and accessible to all. The second was the Nokia 9000 Communicator, a clamshell mobile phone with a full screen, web browser and integrated email service I saw demoed by a Finnish newspaper publisher at a conference in Europe in 1996. This was the first true smartphone, many years before the iPhone.

Also in 1996, a friend showed me a web crawler and search technology for online job listings called Junglee that was both simpler and dramatically more powerful than any “search engine” existing at the time. Junglee was a key inspiration in the founding of Google (Larry and Sergey were students/advisees of Junglee’s Stanford CompSci grad student founders), and acquired by Amazon in 1998 as a price comparison shopper.



It’s been almost 27 years, but I’ve now seen the fourth: ChatGPT, the AI-powered chatbot that is taking the tech world by storm, and which caused the CEO of Google last month to declare “Code Red,” telling the entire company that their entire search business is now at risk.

Over the past 24 hours, I’ve asked ChatGPT to draft press releases. In all of ten seconds each to type requests, I’ve had it generate press releases better than we’ve ever written on our own. I’ve had it create pitches, financial analyses of public companies, legally tight privacy policies, executive bios and explainers designed to describe complex technology solutions to eight-year-olds (which was super-cool).

None of the requests took more than dozens of seconds to construct, and none of the outputs took more than 20 or 30 seconds to generate.

I just told all of our employees that from today forward, all of their jobs are going to change through AI bots. Do I think that AI tools will have a bigger impact on how we live and work than the browser, smartphone or search engine?

Simply: Yes, I do.

3 comments about "Everyone Should Be Calling 'Code Red' On ChatGPT".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, January 13, 2023 at 11:25 a.m.

    I agree. It will also change the way student essay assignments are framed in university-based media courses. I can no longer assign the question "Compare and contrast the regulation of television and the regulation of cable channels." ChatGPT competently handles that task in less than two minutes. 

    I've decided to openly permit students to use the tool and then have them ask ChatGPT for examples.  But I would also ask each student to offer a well-formed opinion and defend their decision based on FCC decisions made after 2021, which is the current limit of information built into ChatGPT.

    If you ask ChatGPT how it thinks or what theories it uses to make decisions, you will receive a reply that it does not think or use theory. Humans are uniquely sentient, so I might suggest a yellow flag rather than a red one.

  2. R.J. Lewis from e-Healthcare Solutions, LLC replied, January 13, 2023 at 6:54 p.m.


    love the context you put this in.  I've been saying the same thing comparing to most disruptive ("ah ha/holy shit this will change the world) first tech introduction moments.  For me it was first time seeing the Internet (via Mosaic), iPhone, SecondLife (meta verse), and ChatGPT.  Would love to discuss this one with you at some point.  I'm challenging it in lots of ways and am blown away.  Trying to think through the order of disrupted industries to come, and they are coming fast and furious.

  3. Stewart Pearson from Consilient Group, January 14, 2023 at 9:11 p.m.

    All these (and more) application of Large Language Models and AI throughout Marketing, Media and Advertising are inevitable.  But what is not inevitable is the passivity and abgentation of responsibility and accountability by Government, and by the Media and Advertising ecosystem.  Web 2.0 and the data surveillance business models of the tech companies destroyed brand values, and government failuer to regulate suppressed innovation. Will we learn? Marketing is a partner of innovation, and advertising is truth well told. How do we fight for these values?

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