What ChatGPT and other AI will really change in the long run

What ChatGPT and other AI will really change in the long run

Hey, long time no see. I never thought that having a 1 year old baby would take time. Guess what? It does! :)

But I finally got some time to write this new post. And I wanted to talk, once again, about ChatGPT and other AIs.

I still believe that ChatGPT won't really change the world of software engineering. Or at least, not before a really long time. But I'm pretty sure that it might alter Internet. I thought about it a lot, talked about this with friends about it, and I really fear ... the consequences of ChatGPT parsing the entire web and becoming the keeper of its "secret" sources.

I'll try to explain my point of view with an example.

Imagine that you're a passionate blogger specializing in graphics card testing. You purchase graphics cards and test them thoroughly. You write comprehensive articles explaining the strengths and weaknesses of each graphics card, conduct extensive tests on numerous games, and share your passion through your website. You earn a bit of money through advertising on your site and have thousands of monthly visitors. You don't really do that for the money, but you like having a community asking questions and thanking your for your tests.

However, here's the 2023+ catch: search engines like Google or Bing are increasingly using their AI for first-hand answers to questions. And that mean, no more visit for the "source data" websites.

All the people currently landing on your site when they search for "RTX 4090 graphics card FPS on RDR2" won't land on your website anymore. Instead, they'll get a pre-formulated answer with all the data, and a part of those data... is your website that was crawled !

Yes, sure, you might be doing this completely out of passion, but you'll see the number of visitors to your site decrease each month. In the end, you'll just earn less money and receive less and less recognition. You might even quit.

This is the kind of changes that ChatGPT and other AI might bring on to Internet. And that scares me.

Currently, the amazing power of Internet doesn't come from the hands of a few multibillion-dollar companies that do whatever they want. It comes from the people. Those who write articles, those who create videos, those who share their passions, those who share data, those who take time to think, those who test things, those who exchange ideas, those who offer different perspectives, those who bring joy, ...

If search engines prioritize AI to answer to questions, they might destroy a big part of the Internet in the long run. Only the really passionnate people will remain, and people that make a living from their info websites might disappear.

And the irony is that, over time, AIs like ChatGPT will become less useful and relevant because they'll lack more and more data. As people would stop sharing those data... BECAUSE of ChatGPT.

ChatGPT looking angrily at itself

Yep, that's right, AIs are its own worst enemies.

Two solutions are still possible:

  1. Search engines keep AIs answers "separated", and still favour redirecting users to the source websites (unlikely, but let's keep hope)
  2. A legislation is passed (let's hope in the EU) to allow for an AI parsing opt-out on websites (it would not prevent the entire issue, but at least limit what AIs take from you without your consent).

This remains, of course, my personal point of view, and I really hope that I'll be wrong.

But I fear that ChatGPT may be one of the first bricks in the slow and painful destruction of the internet.

We've already lost a lot those 20 last years with the "big company platformization" of the internet (that killed personal websites and blogs, and gave those massive platforms too much censorship power).

I hope we won't lose more.