Can The Generative AI ChatGPT Brand Keep Going Strong Or Will It Fizzle Out, Asks AI Ethics And AI Law

Being able to catch lightning in a bottle is quite an extraordinary feat.

Whether you can keep that shining flash of lightning and avert letting it chronically dissipate is a whole other question of immense importance and grand consideration.

In today’s column, I am going to examine how the out-of-nowhere brand known as ChatGPT has become an overnight success. It is like a bolt of lightning captured in a bottle. To clarify, ChatGPT is the name of an AI app that is made by a company called OpenAI. You have undoubtedly heard about ChatGPT since it has garnered outsized banner headlines and seems to be on the lips of nearly anyone thinking about our future and AI.

Though most AI insiders consider ChatGPT to be just another AI app, albeit an interesting and possibly even outstanding example of a type of AI known as Generative AI, they tend to be amazed and simultaneously exasperated at how this particular app has gotten such tremendous attention. This is somewhat frustrating to those that have known about and actively participated in generative AI and large language models (LLMs) for the last several years. Many have been working night and day on similar AI apps, doing so without any notable acknowledgment or hurrahs. With just an Internet search, you can readily find many other generative AI efforts and see that they too have meritorious capabilities.

Nonetheless, it is ChatGPT that has managed to break out of the pack.

You could persuasively contend that a business and societal brand building of an organic and evolving basis has surprisingly occurred whereby ChatGPT is no longer just the name of an AI app, but also now represents a kind of special branding. Other AI apps are often compared to ChatGPT. Sometimes this is done to bolster the other AI app, declaring that it is as good as or better than ChatGPT. On other occasions, the hope is to get some of the afterglows from ChatGPT by suggesting that your AI app is akin to the now-famous and nearing legendary ChatGPT.

By a combination of luck and timing, ChatGPT has become the cat’s meow.

Imagine how hard it would be to build such a brand if you wanted to do so. There have been other conversational interactive AI apps that have come to the fore. By and large, and as I’ve covered at the link here, they have had a short-lived presence in the news. They came and went. You would be hard-pressed to claim that any of those have had the stickiness and immense visibility that ChatGPT has gotten.

Having been released in November 2022, the brand image of ChatGPT seems to just keep getting stronger and stronger with each passing day. More people gleefully jump or excitedly leap onto the ChatGPT bandwagon as word continues to spread like wildfire. Those few that dare to point out the downsides of ChatGPT are not getting the same traction as those that express outright amazement at what this AI app can seem to do. Any AI maker or indeed any company would believe they had gone to heaven to have their app get such ongoing and persistent press coverage and glowing accolades. It is a public relations dream come true.

I ask you this important question:

  • Will ChatGPT as a brand continue to gain steam, or will it plateau and then fade?

I hope that doesn’t seem overly sad-faced. The very asking of the question gets some people to recoil and proclaim that you might jinx the rising star. Let it be. Look the other way. Allow the world to do what it wants.

But this does have big consequences for many, and certainly is a prudent and altogether fair question to be pondered. The AI maker is riding high right now on the ChatGPT coattails, smartly so, though whether this popularity will last is unclear. Wise to make do while the skies are clear and the honeymoon is fully still engaged.

I’d like herein to soberly examine why the ChatGPT phenomena as an AI app and simultaneously as a brand could start to wobble and might not remain the darling of them all. There are dark clouds on the horizon. If some of those turn into battering storms, the ChatGPT brand could suffer. Some in their heart of hearts stridently believe that a reckoning is in order. Others are confident that the AI maker will astutely navigate around any body blows and will ensure that ChatGPT keeps its prominence as the AI app of wonderment.

Let’s gingerly look at what might undercut the ChatGPT brand.

Into all of this comes a slew of AI Ethics and AI Law considerations.

Please be aware that there are ongoing efforts to imbue Ethical AI principles into the development and fielding of AI apps. A growing contingent of concerned and erstwhile AI ethicists are trying to ensure that efforts to devise and adopt AI takes into account a view of doing AI For Good and averting AI For Bad. Likewise, there are proposed new AI laws that are being bandied around as potential solutions to keep AI endeavors from going amok on human rights and the like. For my ongoing and extensive coverage of AI Ethics and AI Law, see the link here and the link here, just to name a few.

The realization that ChatGPT is both an AI app and now a type of brand allows us to look closely at what people perceive to be today’s AI capabilities. In a sense, public perception of AI is being shaped partially as a result of the ChatGPT brand, extending beyond the day-to-day aspects of merely using the AI app itself. You could suggest that as the ChatGPT brand goes, so will the public perception of AI. Included in this frame of reference is what lawmakers might or might do about drafting and enacting new laws concerning AI.

Here are your five key choices about the upcoming status of the ChatGPT brand:

  • 1) Rises Up Further. ChatGPT as a brand keeps growing and gets increasingly stronger
  • 2) Stagnates In Place. ChatGPT as a brand maintains its existing perch but doesn’t rise much higher
  • 3) Fizzles And Drizzles. ChatGPT as a brand starts to fade, gradually so, meanwhile still retaining potency
  • 4) Drops Precipitously. ChatGPT as a brand falls out of favor and veers into disfavor
  • 5) Gets Smashed. ChatGPT as a brand becomes overcome by some calamity that taints it and no one wants to associate with the brand anymore

There have been numerous brands throughout history that rode up and then rode down the spectrum of stratified brand images. Some brands did this in a short time period, while others took years to go from one extreme to the other.

Believe it or not, Enron was once a stellar brand. Nowadays, most people would only refer to Enron when they intend to utter an expletive or otherwise express bitter disgust. Not all brands go that way. The DeLorean brand has had a quite fascinating path, having somewhat faded and then experienced a renaissance of generally favorable vibes later on.

Sometimes a brand misstep can be overcome. Consider the apparent blunder by Coke with New Coke. At first, New Coke was considered an abysmal failure and a totally misguided strategy. Ultimately, Coca-Cola Classic was reportedly spurred into heightened sales, some claim due to the New Coke brouhaha. Debates arise as to whether the leadership anticipated this and were playing a form of three-dimensional chess or whether they managed to trip over their own feet into a favorable outcome.

The gist of these brand sagas is that there is nothing written in stone that guarantees a brand will stay up high. Brands go up and down all the time. For those fortunate to have a brand that goes into the stratosphere, you need to work hard to keep it there. Any kind of lackadaisical approach or assumption that the brand will by osmosis stay in favor is a fool’s gambit.

Some AI pundits seem to assume that ChatGPT is surely heading toward the rise-up-further status. The astrological signs seem to say so. For example, given the ongoing and superlative partnership with Microsoft, this does seem like a reasonably sound bet that ChatGPT has higher ground to cover. Plus, as I mentioned in my column about the upcoming advent of the ChatGPT API portal, see the link here, the various uses and the number of users that might soon be utilizing ChatGPT are potentially heading sky high.

Joyous times ahead, one presupposes.

What in the world could somehow come out of the blue and lead toward stagnation, or worse a fizzling, or even dismally a precipitous drop or an outright smashing?

That’s worth taking a look at.

First, we ought to make sure that we are all on the same page about what Generative AI consists of and also what ChatGPT is all about. Once we cover that foundational facet, we can perform a cogent assessment of how the ChatGPT brand might fare.

If you are already abundantly familiar with Generative AI and ChatGPT, you can perhaps skim the next section and proceed with the section that follows it. I believe that everyone else will find instructive the vital details about these matters by closely reading the section and getting up-to-speed.

A Quick Primer About Generative AI And ChatGPT

ChatGPT is a general-purpose AI interactive conversational-oriented system, essentially a seemingly innocuous general chatbot, nonetheless, it is actively and avidly being used by people in ways that are catching many entirely off-guard, as I’ll elaborate shortly. This AI app leverages a technique and technology in the AI realm that is often referred to as Generative AI. The AI generates outputs such as text, which is what ChatGPT does. Other generative-based AI apps produce images such as pictures or artwork, while others generate audio files or videos.

I’ll focus on the text-based generative AI apps in this discussion since that’s what ChatGPT does.

Generative AI apps are exceedingly easy to use.

All you need to do is enter a prompt and the AI app will generate for you an essay that attempts to respond to your prompt. The composed text will seem as though the essay was written by the human hand and mind. If you were to enter a prompt that said “Tell me about Abraham Lincoln” the generative AI will provide you with an essay about Lincoln. This is commonly classified as generative AI that performs text-to-text or some prefer to call it text-to-essay output. As mentioned, there are other modes of generative AI, such as text-to-art and text-to-video.

Your first thought might be that this generative capability does not seem like such a big deal in terms of producing essays. You can easily do an online search of the Internet and readily find tons and tons of essays about President Lincoln. The kicker in the case of generative AI is that the generated essay is relatively unique and provides an original composition rather than a copycat. If you were to try and find the AI-produced essay online someplace, you would be unlikely to discover it.

Generative AI is pre-trained and makes use of a complex mathematical and computational formulation that has been set up by examining patterns in written words and stories across the web. As a result of examining thousands and millions of written passages, the AI can spew out new essays and stories that are a mishmash of what was found. By adding in various probabilistic functionality, the resulting text is pretty much unique in comparison to what has been used in the training set.

That’s why there has been an uproar about students being able to cheat when writing essays outside of the classroom. A teacher cannot merely take the essay that deceitful students assert is their own writing and seek to find out whether it was copied from some other online source. Overall, there won’t be any definitive preexisting essay online that fits the AI-generated essay. All told, the teacher will have to begrudgingly accept that the student wrote the essay as an original piece of work.

There are additional concerns about generative AI.

One crucial downside is that the essays produced by a generative-based AI app can have various falsehoods embedded, including patently untrue facts, facts that are misleadingly portrayed, and apparent facts that are entirely fabricated. Those fabricated aspects are often referred to as a form of AI hallucinations, a catchphrase that I disfavor but lamentedly seems to be gaining popular traction anyway (for my detailed explanation about why this is lousy and unsuitable terminology, see my coverage at the link here).

I’d like to clarify one important aspect before we get into the thick of things on this topic.

There have been some zany outsized claims on social media about Generative AI asserting that this latest version of AI is in fact sentient AI (nope, they are wrong!). Those in AI Ethics and AI Law are notably worried about this burgeoning trend of outstretched claims. You might politely say that some people are overstating what today’s AI can actually do. They assume that AI has capabilities that we haven’t yet been able to achieve. That’s unfortunate. Worse still, they can allow themselves and others to get into dire situations because of an assumption that the AI will be sentient or human-like in being able to take action.

Do not anthropomorphize AI.

Doing so will get you caught in a sticky and dour reliance trap of expecting the AI to do things it is unable to perform. With that being said, the latest in generative AI is relatively impressive for what it can do. Be aware though that there are significant limitations that you ought to continually keep in mind when using any generative AI app.

If you are interested in the rapidly expanding commotion about ChatGPT and Generative AI all told, I’ve been doing a focused series in my column that you might find informative. Here’s a glance in case any of these topics catch your fancy:

  • 1) Predictions Of Generative AI Advances Coming. If you want to know what is likely to unfold about AI throughout 2023 and beyond, including upcoming advances in generative AI and ChatGPT, you’ll want to read my comprehensive list of 2023 predictions at the link here.
  • 2) Generative AI and Mental Health Advice. I opted to review how generative AI and ChatGPT are being used for mental health advice, a troublesome trend, per my focused analysis at the link here.
  • 3) Fundamentals Of Generative AI And ChatGPT. This piece explores the key elements of how generative AI works and in particular delves into the ChatGPT app, including an analysis of the buzz and fanfare, at the link here.
  • 4) Tension Between Teachers And Students Over Generative AI And ChatGPT. Here are the ways that students will deviously use generative AI and ChatGPT. In addition, there are several ways for teachers to contend with this tidal wave. See the link here.
  • 5) Context And Generative AI Use. I also did a seasonally flavored tongue-in-cheek examination about a Santa-related context involving ChatGPT and generative AI at the link here.
  • 6) Scammers Using Generative AI. On an ominous note, some scammers have figured out how to use generative AI and ChatGPT to do wrongdoing, including generating scam emails and even producing programming code for malware, see my analysis at the link here.
  • 7) Rookie Mistakes Using Generative AI. Many people are both overshooting and surprisingly undershooting what generative AI and ChatGPT can do, so I looked especially at the undershooting that AI rookies tend to make, see the discussion at the link here.
  • 8) Coping With Generative AI Prompts And AI Hallucinations. I describe a leading-edge approach to using AI add-ons to deal with the various issues associated with trying to enter suitable prompts into generative AI, plus there are additional AI add-ons for detecting so-called AI hallucinated outputs and falsehoods, as covered at the link here.
  • 9) Debunking Bonehead Claims About Detecting Generative AI-Produced Essays. There is a misguided gold rush of AI apps that proclaim to be able to ascertain whether any given essay was human-produced versus AI-generated. Overall, this is misleading and in some cases, a boneheaded and untenable claim, see my coverage at the link here.
  • 10) Role-Playing Via Generative AI Might Portend Mental Health Drawbacks. Some are using generative AI such as ChatGPT to do role-playing, whereby the AI app responds to a human as though existing in a fantasy world or other made-up setting. This could have mental health repercussions, see the link here.
  • 11) Exposing The Range Of Outputted Errors and Falsehoods. Various collected lists are being put together to try and showcase the nature of ChatGPT-produced errors and falsehoods. Some believe this is essential, while others say that the exercise is futile, see my analysis at the link here.
  • 12) Schools Banning Generative AI ChatGPT Are Missing The Boat. You might know that various schools such as the New York City (NYC) Department of Education have declared a ban on the use of ChatGPT on their network and associated devices. Though this might seem a helpful precaution, it won’t move the needle and sadly entirely misses the boat, see my coverage at the link here.
  • 13) Generative AI ChatGPT Is Going To Be Everywhere Due To The Upcoming API. There is an important twist coming up about the use of ChatGPT, namely that via the use of an API portal into this particular AI app, other software programs will be able to invoke and utilize ChatGPT. This is going to dramatically expand the use of generative AI and has notable consequences, see my elaboration at the link here.

You might find of interest that ChatGPT is based on a version of a predecessor AI app known as GPT-3. ChatGPT is considered to be a slightly next step, referred to as GPT-3.5. It is anticipated that GPT-4 will likely be released in the Spring of 2023. Presumably, GPT-4 is going to be an impressive step forward in terms of being able to produce seemingly even more fluent essays, going deeper, and being an awe-inspiring marvel as to the compositions that it can produce.

You can expect to see a new round of expressed wonderment when springtime comes along and the latest in generative AI is released.

I bring this up because there is another angle to keep in mind, consisting of a potential Achilles heel to these better and bigger generative AI apps. If any AI vendor makes available a generative AI app that frothily spews out foulness, this could dash the hopes of those AI makers. A societal spillover can cause all generative AI to get a serious black eye. People will undoubtedly get quite upset at foul outputs, which have happened many times already and led to boisterous societal condemnation backlashes toward AI.

One final forewarning for now.

Whatever you see or read in a generative AI response that seems to be conveyed as purely factual (dates, places, people, etc.), make sure to remain skeptical and be willing to double-check what you see.

Yes, dates can be concocted, places can be made up, and elements that we usually expect to be above reproach are all subject to suspicions. Do not believe what you read and keep a skeptical eye when examining any generative AI essays or outputs. If a generative AI app tells you that Abraham Lincoln flew around the country in his own private jet, you would undoubtedly know that this is malarky. Unfortunately, some people might not realize that jets weren’t around in his day, or they might know but fail to notice that the essay makes this brazen and outrageously false claim.

A strong dose of healthy skepticism and a persistent mindset of disbelief will be your best asset when using generative AI.

We are ready to move into the next stage of this elucidation.

Whether The Mighty Can Remain In The Mighty Spotlight

Now that we’ve got the fundamentals established, we can explore how ChatGPT as a brand might confront some bumps in the road ahead. These are all possibilities that presumably keep the top leadership at OpenAI awake at night. Some of the scenarios are of a mild nature, while others are severe and dreadful.

I’ll cover eight particular scenarios. There are more that come to mind, but I think these will be sufficient to give you the proper drift of things. For each scenario, I provide an overview of what might happen.

Please know that I’m not at all asserting that any of these will happen. I am only proffering speculation about what could potentially happen. I’ll say more about this at the conclusion.

The eight scenarios or perhaps nightmarish possibilities are:

  • Scenario #1: Emitted Falsehoods Kill The Golden Goose
  • Scenario #2: Wrong Time Foul Instance Makes Big Stink
  • Scenario #3: Gets Eclipsed By Something Better
  • Scenario #4: Some Other Shiny Object Gets Our Attention
  • Scenario #5: Clobbered By A Pairing Program Via The API Portal
  • Scenario #6: Lawsuits Enter Into The Picture
  • Scenario #7: Puts Own Foot In Mouth
  • Scenario #8: Lawmaker Finds This Legally Alarming And Alluring

Let’s unpack each one.

Find yourself a cozy spot to sit and read these scenarios. Then again, make sure you have plenty of bright lights and won’t get the willies over the daunting possibilities.

Scenario #1: Emitted Falsehoods Kill The Golden Goose

In this scenario, falsehoods in ChatGPT outputted essays finally gain prominence.

Word spreads widely that you just cannot trust whatever is emitted by the AI app (well, this is perhaps tossing out the proverbial baby with the bath water, but that’s the risk involved). Whereas people were originally willing to overlook this thorny issue, the tide turns. Now, rather than accepting that some of the time output is error-prone or contains AI hallucinations, the public only wants purity and won’t stand for anything less.

You can argue until you are blue in the face whether this is a fair deal. Public sentiment shifts anyway, fair or not. ChatGPT becomes regarded as being untrustworthy in producing valid outputs and a wave of avoidance occurs.

That’s a truly sad face scenario.

We move to the next one.

Scenario #2: Wrong Time Foul Instance Makes Big Stink

Somewhat akin to the scenario about falsehoods, this is a variant involving a particularly wrong time and a particularly wrong instance of ChatGPT emitting something bad. Perhaps a famous celebrity discovers a really onerous outputted essay and uses their existing viral clout they decide to let the whole world know.

Of this one instance alone, people begin to rethink their belief in ChatGPT.

Again, you ask whether this is fair or not. Doesn’t matter. If the foul instance is foul enough, and if there is a big enough well-known personality that opts to rage on the AI app, all the rest of the trust and laudable praise can come crumbling down in an instant.

Scenario #3: Gets Eclipsed By Something Better

There are a lot of generative AI apps out there. Admittedly, none have grabbed the brass ring in the same manner as ChatGPT. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t. They might.

Envision that a generative AI app comes out with a big splash and can do the same things as ChatGPT. If this other AI app is merely on par, it might not move the needle. On the other hand, suppose that it is much better at producing essays. Or perhaps it dramatically reduces the outputted falsehoods. The increase in capabilities might sway people to switch.

Consider for a moment the heady question of what loyalty or stickiness ChatGPT has today. Not much. This is an app that takes in text prompts and produces text essays. Any other AI app that can do the same is essentially completely interchangeable. There is no special barrier to entry for being a substitute. You can swap out one for the other, easy-peasy.

Another twist will be the monetization angle.

I’ve discussed in my prior columns the ways in which ChatGPT might end up being monetized. Assume that a transaction fee or subscription is used, or maybe ads are a means of monetizing ChatGPT. All in all, if a different AI maker can provide an akin generative AI app, even if only of equal capabilities, but they are willing to price below whatever pricing ChatGPT decides upon, the lesser cost alternative might prevail.

Money talks.

Scenario #4: Some Other Shiny Object Gets Our Attention

As mentioned earlier, ChatGPT is currently a text-to-text type of generative AI app. I also pointed out that there are other AI apps for doing text-to-images and text-to-video. In my predictions for 2023, I noted that we will see the rise of multi-modal generative AI, see my discussion at the link here.

My point is that if ChatGPT stays with text-to-text, you have to wonder what people will do if other AI apps provide a combination of modes such as an all-in-one AI app that does text-to-text, text-to-image, and text-to-video. On top of this, suppose such an app also provides reverse variants too, such as image-to-text and video-to-text.

The hype and excitement could suddenly shift to some other AI app. ChatGPT is yesterday’s news at that point. We all seem to gravitate toward the new kid on the block.

Scenario #5: Clobbered By A Pairing Program Via The API Portal

One of the paths forward for ChatGPT is the anticipated opening of their API (Application Programming Interface) portal, which I discuss at the link here.

In brief, this will allow other programs to leverage the use of ChatGPT. No rocket science is involved, it is a relatively straightforward process. A program can link over to ChatGPT, provide a text prompt, get the ChatGPT app to provide an essay back, and then make use of that essay. The advantage here for ChatGPT is that all manner of other programs that already have thousands or millions of users will now indirectly also be construed as ChatGPT users.

With the API, ChatGPT can become immersed in all manner of other useful apps. Depending upon how the pricing is set up, this has the potential for astronomically big bucks. Ka-ching goes the cash register.

Whoa, hold your horses. There are licensing requirements and rules about which programs can access ChatGPT via the API. That’s a sensible precaution. ChatGPT doesn’t want to be associated with some barbaric outcast program. In theory, the AI maker is going to be extremely mindful of which other programs can access ChatGPT.

That being said, sometimes bad things slip between the cracks. Imagine that some program that got approved to use the API goes hog wild. People get upset at the offending program. Meanwhile, maybe the blame points toward ChatGPT. Oops, ChatGPT has now gotten foisted on its own petard.

Scenario #6: Lawsuits Enter Into The Picture

Somebody uses ChatGPT and turns out they don’t like the outputted essays. They are fully offended by what they see. How could any AI app generate such unruly, dastardly, and utterly untoward narratives or textually revolting diatribes?

It is abominable.

Time to bring in the lawyers. A lawsuit is filed. Maybe they try to make this into a class action lawsuit. Either way, the news media loves those stories of the great hero that is dashed to earth by the little curmudgeon. A classic David versus Goliath tale. Right or wrong as to the nature of the lawsuit, which maybe is entirely full of hot air and has no substance, the wrangling in the courts puts a tremendous damper on ChatGPT.

Scenario #7: Puts Own Foot In Mouth

The preceding scenarios were principally about something external to ChatGPT that dashes the future of ChatGPT.

We would be remiss to not include self-inflicted wounds. Those can happen at any time.

Here’s how that might go.

Suppose the AI maker decides to do something that seems to them perfectly satisfactory. Maybe they change up ChatGPT in a manner that they believe is for the good of the world. They pat themselves on the back accordingly. Unfortunately, upon releasing the new version, the world finds it to be contrary to what the public at large wanted (think of my earlier reference to New Coke).

How will the leadership react? Will they hold to their gut instinct and push ahead, despite public sentiment that is backlashing against them? Will they try to pull back, hoping to stem the angst and fury coming the way of ChatGPT? Upon pulling back, if so, will there be any lasting foul tastes that they cannot readily recover from? And so on.

We might have recently gotten a flavor or snippet of this scenario.

It was reported in the news recently that a proposed ChatGPT Pro version was floated into the marketplace as a new option, and then apparently was summarily withdrawn. Silence ensued. Few noticed. The general idea seemed to be that there would be ChatGPT conventional version that remained free to use, and the Pro version would involve a fee to use and come with heightened aspects.

On the surface, this ostensibly appears to be a sensible approach. All types of software exist that provide a low-end free version and a higher-end must-pay version. Everyone knows that.

Speculation exists about why the approach was so quickly snatched back. One viewpoint was that this was bad timing and that they realized the qualm only after taking a first step forward. Let’s dig into this briefly (please know that other explanations also have been voiced, so this is just one particular speculation). Right now, ChatGPT is on top of the world. By introducing a pricing scheme of this specific nature, there was a realistic chance of a backlash. What the heck, I refuse to pay to use this, some might have exhorted. Furthermore, the public reaction could be one of abject confusion. Do you have to pay for this or not? I thought it was available for free. No, you have to pay for it now. But, someone told me you can still use it for free. Round and round the bewilderment goes.

They would also need to cope with people that got inadvertently misbilled. Some people might demand a refund. Others might get upset that the price seems too high. Dealing with individual consumers can be brutal. Meanwhile, the brand image can take some pretty tough hits. The irony too is that it might not be because of what the AI app does, and instead simply due to the surround sound of paying for and stopping payment when people want out.

And, you have to ask, for what purpose would that serve? If the potential consternation and confusion tarnished the ChatGPT brand, it would seem foolhardy at this time. Keep your eye on the prize. Make sure that the partnership with Microsoft remains unfettered by some Pro version chaos. Likewise, go for the safer bucks via the ChatGPT API rather than trying to squeeze dollars out of individual users. At this juncture, going B2C on pricing doesn’t seem nearly as alluring as the B2B upside potential.

An important rule of thumb: Do not put the cart in front of the horse.

Scenario #8: Lawmaker Finds This Legally Alarming And Alluring

Back to the external factors.

I’ve covered in my column postings that a litany of newly proposed AI laws is arising at the federal, state, and local levels (plus on an international basis too), see my coverage at the link here. The usual notion is that we have to try and keep in check AI For Bad and seek to encourage AI For Good. AI Ethics can only take us so far in that direction as they are considered soft laws. Sometimes the use of so-called hard laws is also prudent.

Envision that a lawmaker for whatever reason decides to hang their hat on the rise of generative AI and especially encompassing ChatGPT, in the sense of aiming their lawmaking guise at generative AI as the best or most vital target for new AI-related laws. Of course, the odds are that this will be sweeping enough that many variations of generative AI are potentially put into the same bind (not just ChatGPT).

Anyway, the possibility is that some kind of legal kibosh might strike at generative AI. ChatGPT could get drawn into those muddy and murky waters.

The big fish can sometimes suffer the most.


If you have the shakes and the shivers from reading those frightening scenarios, take a moment to get a strong cup of coffee and relax your nerves.

I’ll wait.

First, some good news. It is certainly conceivable that absolutely none of those scenarios might occur. Yes, in that case, you can stop right there if that makes you feel better. Rest easy.

Well, truthfully, let’s acknowledge that at least one might occur. Darn. But, luckily, it might be readily overcome. Thank goodness. Crisis averted.

Then again, two or more might happen. Indeed, they could happen all at once, akin to a wave of stinging bees and wasps as they cluster and attack every which way in a multitude of directions. That’s too unseemly to even imagine.

If one or more of those scenarios arise, ChatGPT as a brand could confront some crushingly harsh brand diminishment. There is the real potential for brand damage and brand wrecking. Sorry to say but it is a key management principle that brand disasters can occur at any time (this is a significant topic of judicious management and business practice, including what to watch out for and what to do, which has been my bailiwick for many years as a leader and business scholar).

Good leadership that is well-prepared and knows how to cope with the necessities of brand building can pretty much contend with these pitfalls and downtrodden possibilities. They need to think carefully about each potential crisis. Ascertain how to avoid crises or at least contain them before they ignite. Prudent and ably performed crisis management is a vital tool to have in the business leadership toolbox.

If existing leadership seriously anticipates each of my aforementioned scenarios, they can take action now to forestall, contain, and possibly overcome these rather dire predicaments. I’ve been in similar shoes in my capacity as a tech executive and corporate officer. Preparation is essential. Action, when the time comes, is equally crucial.

A final remark for now. One of my favorite quotes on these matters comes from Abraham Lincoln, for which he stoutly declared: “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

Take those words to heart. You might just catch lightning in a bottle.

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