Category: R&P News

The measure of intelligence is the ability to change

Embracing change and striving for the best is the underlying message of everything we see, hear and do it seems. A decade ago we made a huge change to futureproof our business when we merged our four county-wide offices into one.

We have now been in Chargrove House for ten years. We have seen huge changes over that period, and I set a little challenge to look ahead to the next ten years.

We have already just sublet a small part of the building downstairs as following covid we no longer have everyone in at any one time. No doubt more electric vehicles will come along, we may start generating our own electric with solar panels. My favourite prediction was our fountain being converted to a drone landing pad! But then you think what will there be to deliver?

Back to now though, I was at a Conference in November discussing “The Changing Face of Accountancy”. The first session was called “The Robots are Coming”! They aren’t quite here yet but it was obvious we are all going to have to start preparing for them, whatever line of work we are in.

I expect many will have heard of ChatGPT. Many are talking about this and its abilities. For those that don’t know, it’s an AI (artificial intelligence) chatbot that can be used to write reports, create lesson plans and answer questions, amongst other things, in a way that comes across as human. I have seen it write reports and if I hadn’t known ChatGPT had done it I would have been hard pushed to know it was machine produced. It doesn’t get things 100% correct yet but it will come and then the skill will be asking it the right question to get the correct answer.

The average human has an IQ of between 85–115, Einstein was estimated at 160 and currently ChatGPT is estimated to be between 130–155. This is ChatGPT 4, soon no doubt we will have 5 and then 6 and it’s thought that in two to three years’ time it could be more than 3000 times the average human IQ. Scary! It’s not intelligent in the way we understand intelligence though, it uses content already out there and it analyses and produces that content in the form requested incredibly quickly.

Do we need to be frightened of it? Not now, and the jury is out as to whether it will ever be able to bring in the human element of analysis. If it does, then we move into the realms of science fiction! If it increases it’s IQ exponentially who is to say it won’t teach itself to be human at some point in the future!

Currently, what we do and what everyone else does is too complex for ChatGPT or any other AI to deal with completely on their own. What’s going to happen now? For the moment AI is going to take over repetitive tasks, the things none of us want to do on a day-to-day basis. From our point of view if we can get AI doing those tasks it will free up our team to do more advisory work to add more value to our customers. Rather than be worried about this coming change we will as always embrace it for the benefit of everyone.

Tim Watkins wrote this article as ‘Tim’s View’ for In Focus magazine Winter issue which was published in December 2023 and featured Will Abbott’s thoughts about AI in ‘AI and the future of us mere mortals‘ as well as a summary of the AI panel event organised by Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce which was moderated by Will called ‘Is your Business ready for tomorrow?