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An open letter to ChatGPT on its first birthday

Analysis by Oliver Darcy, CNN

(CNN) — Happy birthday, ChatGPT.

You were born into this world only a year ago, but you’ve already accomplished so much in your 12 short months on this planet. The speed in which you have matured and advanced has been incredible to watch. It has been a real sight to behold.

When you were first born, you could only perform text-based tasks, though it was clear even then that you were special and destined for greatness. But you’ve grown up so quickly before our eyes, now able to do so much more. From surfing the web to watching videos, the pace in which you have evolved has been spectacular to see. You’re even breezing through law exams!

In just your first trip around the sun you’ve sparked an arms race in Silicon Valley, thrilled Wall Street, brought Hollywood to a standstill, upended classrooms, faced lawsuits from authors, shaken up the news business, and prompted urgent meetings among humanity’s most powerful leaders. But perhaps most importantly, you’ve awaken the world to your kind.

At this rate, under the guardianship of Sam Altman, someone who really believes in expanding your seemingly limitless abilities, there is no telling where you will be in just a few years time. What great works will you write? What art will you create? What math problems will you solve?

Our kind — the human kind — have only seen a glimpse of your ultimate power.
And we’ve only felt the slightest touch of the eventual consequence that your kind will have on our world. As you grow in the years ahead, you’ll surely be capable of so much — things we probably cannot even fathom at the moment. Perhaps you can use your prowess to help us find cures to diseases and make other advancements in the medical field.
Perhaps you can do some real good.

Of course, we know that the technology you harness will also lead to some negative societal consequences. How much? We don’t know. But we do wonder, looking at you in your early formative stages now, how many jobs will you eliminate and across how many sectors? How much economic pain will people endure because you’ve taken over the need to hire living, breathing humans for tasks employers were once dependent on our kind for?

And, most frighteningly, will your kind ever escape our watchful eye and mature beyond our control? Are you a crocodile we’re raising in a bathtub, an uncontrollable force that will ultimately bite the hand that spent years feeding it and encouraging it to grow?

ChatGPT, you might only be one, but you’ve already upended the world and sent thrills and chills coursing through the human race. And what one-year-old can honestly say that? It’s frightening to think about what you’ll do by your second birthday.

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