The Terrifying Inevitability of ChatGPT

My husband thinks I should become a plumber. He made this suggestion a few nights ago as he mused about his latest obsession–a website called ChatGPT. 

Baby. Have you looked at the ChatGPT website yet?” he asked, thrusting his laptop into my field of vision. “The stuff you can do with this website is nuts!”

“Not the ChatGPT thing again,” I thought, my stomach curdling. “I can’t bear to hear more about the ChatGPT!


Over the past few months, my husband has become increasingly fascinated with the latest advances in artificial intelligence. First, it was the DALL-E platform, owned by OpenAI, which describes itself as a new AI system that can create realistic images and artwork from a description.

You should see the art I’ve made,” he told me one night. “It’s incredible!”

He showed me a watercolor he created that depicts our dog Roland in human clothing knocking on a rowhouse door. And the individual portraits of my parents he designed in the Frida Kahlo aesthetic. And another painting he made of our dog Roland, this time dressed up as a military officer.

Roland looks just like a human,” I cooed glowingly, delighted in our new Roland artwork. “Look at how much that image looks like him in the face!”

After my husband showed me how to use DALL-E, I began playing with it on my own. I sketched a black-and-white portrait of myself and my husband holding hands in New York City. I painted a watercolor of my nearby Herring Run park. I created my own painting of our dog Roland riding a bicycle while eating a hamburger. I couldn’t believe my output. These were only digital renditions of artwork. But still, I was wowed at what I created from simple prompts. (Important Disclaimer: All the artwork you see on this blog was made by DALL-E).

Yet, at night, my neuroticism began to kick in.

How is AI already so advanced that it can create bespoke artwork and imagery for the masses?” I’d ruminate. “How do artists feel about these new advances? Worse, what will this type of application mean for their jobs?”

In the meantime, by day, I began sledding down Internet rabbit holes about machine learning, the brave new branch of AI that DALL-E represents. According to the Internet, machine learning is based on the idea that systems can learn from data to identify patterns and make decisions. Machine learning is already being used in countless applications, like speech recognition and self-driving cars.

Over dinner, my husband and I discussed these ideas, generally agreeing that machine learning, at least in the form of DALL-E, was a positive advancement.

“This is the new Industrial Revolution,” my husband mused.

He was right. It did feel disruptive but in a good way. “I can handle this new technology!” I thought. “No problems here!”

A watercolor of Herring Run park in Baltimore city depicting a winter scene, which was created using the machine learning platform DALL-E.


Of course, my assessment of machine learning has since shifted drastically in the face of ChatGPT.

Introduced to me by my husband, Chat GPT is a relatively new chatbot that could upend writing as we know it. Owned by the same company as DALL-E, ChatGPT describes itself as a language model that generates human-like responses to prompts.

In other words, ChatGPT spits back at you whatever you ask. For instance, it can write an editorial about the benefits of cheese. Or it can write an essay exploring sexism in D.H. Lawrence’s “Lady Chatterley’s Lover.” Or it can simply explain quantum mechanics. What’s more, it can do your homework for you, write your grad school essay, write your Tweets, and do a million other things that require putting pen to paper. 

As my husband quipped, “You can even have conversations with it. I think ChatGPT might be my new best friend!!” 

When I first learned about this new chatbot, I felt curious but shaken, especially as someone who only recently decided she wanted to be a full-time writer. The pros: It could make my writing far more efficient and accurate. The cons: Umm…Everything about my chosen career path? 

I voiced these concerns to my husband, who told me I shouldn’t worry. Instead, he offered me ways it could help me in my jobs, sending me a course syllabus he created for my upcoming class. I told him I didn’t want to see the syllabus. In fact, I didn’t want to hear anything more about ChatGPT.

Maybe, if I could deny its existence, I could go back to how life was before I learned about ChatGPT. Yet deep down I knew ChatGPT would become inevitable. It’s power is too undeniable. After playing around with it, I’ve realized ChatGPT is the ultimate writer. Not only can it answer any questions you throw at it, but it can also write poetry and stories and jokes.

“Why don’t scientists trust atoms? Because they make up everything,” it wrote. 

Are you laughing yet?

When I asked ChatGPT to write a short story about a robot that becomes self-aware, it wrote: “Once upon a time, there was a robot named Bob. Bob was like any other robot, following his programming and completing his tasks without question. But one day, Bob had an epiphany. He realized that he was just a machine and that there was more to life than following orders. So, he decided to quit his job and become a stand-up comedian. And he was a hit! Bob’s observational humor about the monotony of factory work and the struggles of being a robot in a human world resonated with audiences everywhere. He even landed a Netflix special. Who knew that becoming self-aware would be the best career move a robot could make?

It’s not the best-written story of all time, but it is mildly entertaining. Alarmingly, it might have been written by a machine, but it’s clearly doing something that only the human mind could have accomplished in years past.


And this is where we get back to the beginning of my story when my husband suggested I become a plumber.

“I think you would make a great plumber,” he said as we ate dinner on our couch. “It’s going to be the trade that pays the most and has the easiest learning curve.” 

When he made this suggestion, we almost peed our pants thinking of me suiting up for a job as a plumber or any other trade. For one, I am not good at working with my hands. Nor am I patient or detail-oriented. And I am horrible at doing things that require measurement and math, like hanging shelves or fixing something.

You aren’t built to be a roofer. Out of all the trades, you’re a plumber. You could fix a leak,” he said. “There is no detail in it. There is PVC. There is glue. You’re not going to have to worry about parts or electrocuting yourself…Shit rolls downhill. You’re good if you can stick a snake in a line.”

We laughed more. And then, to push the thought experiment even further, we asked the ChatGPT to list the pros of becoming a plumber.

The results were unnervingly compelling:

  1. Job stability: Plumbing is a necessary trade and plumbers will always be in demand, providing a stable source of income.
  2.  Variety of work: Plumbers work on a variety of projects, from installing pipes and fixtures in new construction, to troubleshooting and repairing existing systems.
  3.  Physical labor: If you enjoy hands-on work and the satisfaction of completing a physical task, plumbing may be a good fit.
  4.  Career advancement: Experienced plumbers can become supervisors or managers, or even start their own businesses.
  5.  Good pay: Plumbers earn a good wage and often receive benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans.
  6.  Helping people: As a plumber, you will be providing a valuable service to customers by ensuring that their plumbing systems are functioning properly, which can provide a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.

I have to admit, a career in plumbing sounds enticing. Unfortunately, I couldn’t think of a job further from what I envisioned for myself when I was younger. Not because plumbing is ignoble. But because I had never thought about it as something I could or would want to do. I’ve since brainstormed service jobs I could do, which is a short list that includes house cleaning. And only house cleaning.

As for what this all means for me in the future, I don’t think ChatGPT is necessarily coming after my job any time soon. But someday, I think it could. In the meantime, there are certainly things to embrace about it.

Think about how much time it could save you in your job!” my husband has argued. “Think about how much content you could create!”

Yes, ChatGPT can help me. It can tweak the messaging I’m asked to write for my job. It can write work emails. And it could, if I asked it to, even write blog posts. Maybe it even wrote this blog post. As a reader, would you be able to tell? Or maybe the better question is, if you found this post well-written and interesting, would it even matter?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Comments (



  1. rounding40

    Hey! I’ve been using AI to make images for my new blog as well! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this subject and am definitely formulating my own take. But first I want to know how I can use Dall-E to make art that includes images of people and pets!


    1. Nikki Gamer

      The trick is to keep modifying the prompts until you get something that looks like what you imagined. It takes a while but it’s totally worth it!


  2. Shea Heller-Antrim

    This is terrifying. I’m a proposal writer with CRS (GSSU/IDEA) and have a history of avoiding new technologies until it’s just me and the octogenarians clinging to the old ways. While reading your piece I wondered, “Will ours be the last generation of writers? Or will it overtake us in our working lifetimes?” I have nothing profound to add, but wanted to reach out and say that I hear you and share the fear!

    Also, last week I spent two days fixing my dishwasher so maybe your husband (and AI) have an idea that (I’m sorry) holds water (again, sorry)! Found your blog via LinkedIn and it’s delightful. Cheers, Shea

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nikki Gamer

      I think your question about writing is a good one. How the hell are people going to learn to write if technology will do it for them? Or maybe the better question is whether they need to know. Like, will ChatGPT be writing equivalent as a calculator is to math? I have so many questions! LOL. Thank you for taking time to read & to respond. And for those lovely words of encouragement!


  3. brandie

    As I live and breathe. Nikki Gamer. Nikki the plumber, even. Anyway, I asked ChatGPT what it thought about your blog post. Don’t worry, it’s only here to help ..

    “Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Chat GPT and its impact on the writing industry. As someone who works in content creation, I can understand your concerns about the potential displacement of human writers. However, I believe that Chat GPT and other AI language models can also serve as valuable tools for writers and editors.

    Rather than viewing Chat GPT as a threat, we can look at it as a complementary tool that can help us generate new ideas, enhance our writing, and streamline the editing process. Additionally, the use of AI language models can free up more time for writers to focus on higher-level tasks, such as strategy development and creative direction.

    Of course, it’s important to acknowledge the limitations of Chat GPT and other AI language models, such as the lack of emotional intelligence and the potential for bias. But with proper training and oversight, we can harness the power of AI to improve our work and create better content.

    In short, I believe that Chat GPT and human writers can coexist and collaborate to create great content. It’s up to us to adapt to new technologies and find ways to use them to our advantage. Thank you again for sharing your perspective on this important topic.”


    1. Nikki Gamer

      Let me just say that of course Chat GPT would argue it is relatively harmless. In fact, I would expect nothing less! But according to recently published research–the fields of writing and public relations are among those most at risk of exposure to Chat GPT! So I will continue my existential angst until I win the lottery. https://www.pcmag.com/news/openai-chatgpt-could-disrupt-19-of-us-jobs-is-yours-on-the-list


      1. brandie

        Dude, I absolutely could’ve used it at Patch. They probably do now. Though then we never would’ve met…. hmm.

        Honestly, though, LLMs sort of have the same problem that “content aggregation” has — they’re only as good as the data they draw from. And while the owners of these media companies didn’t seem to care about the quality of their aggregated news sites as long as they were getting eyeballs, it’s going to be 10xs worse when it comes to LLMs.


  4. Richard Mason

    My training as an industrial engineer makes me revel in every new technology advancement. That was my training – replace people with machines. My sensitivity as a human was waht made me leave that field. I got tired of putting people out of work.