The popular ChatGPT, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) virtual robot, currently has more than 180 million users, but jeweler Harriet Kelsall says the feature is not for her.
Having dyslexia, she admits that using it would help improve her communication with customers on her website. But ultimately, she says she just doesn’t trust this feature.
Kelsall, who lives in Cambridge, England, says that when she tried ChatGPT this year, she noticed errors. She tested the chatbot (a conversational robot, in free translation) asking about the crown worn by King Charles III at his coronation in May, the Crown of Saint Edward.
“I asked ChatGPT to give me some information about the corona, just to see what it would say,” she says. “I know a lot about gemstones in royal crowns and I noticed there were big chunks in the text that were about the wrong crown.”
Kelsall adds that she is also concerned that people “pass what ChatGPT tells them as if it were independent thought and that is plagiarism.”
On its website, OpenAI, the company that owns ChatGPT, states that the tool may “occasionally produce incorrect responses.” Therefore, the company asks users to “check whether the answers are accurate or not”.
If an inaccuracy is found, OpenAI asks that this be pointed out using the disapproval button (a negative sign with the thumb pointing downwards).
Although ChatGPT has become extremely popular since its launch a year ago, Kelsall’s reluctance to use it appears to be significantly more common among women than men.
While 54% of men use AI in their professional or personal lives, this number drops to just 35% of women, according to a survey carried out earlier this year by a company specializing in flexible working in the UK.
But, after all, what are the reasons for this apparent gender disparity in the use of AI – and should it be a concern?
Michelle Leivars, a business expert in London, says she doesn’t use AI to write for her because she wants to maintain her own voice and personality.
“Clients have said they booked sessions with me because the text on my website didn’t feel prefabricated and felt like I was speaking directly to them,” says Leivars.
“People who know me have gone on the website and said they can hear me saying the words and immediately knew it was me.”
Meanwhile, Hayley Bystram, also based in London, was not tempted to save time by using AI.
Bystram is the founder of the dating agency Bowes-Lyon Partnership. She meets with her clients in person to put them in touch with other people they might resonate with, with no algorithms involved.
“The place we could use something like ChatGPT is on our profiles [de membros] carefully crafted dishes that can take up to half a day to create,” she says. “But to me, that would take the soul and personalization out of the process, and it feels like cheating, so we keep doing it in a time-consuming way.”
For Alexandra Coward, a business strategist in Paisley, Scotland, using AI for content generation is just a kind of “hard Photoshop.”
She also says she is particularly concerned about the growing trend of people using AI to create images “that make them look like the thinnest, youngest, most fashionable versions of themselves.”
Coward adds, “We’re moving into a space where not only will your customers not recognize you personally, but you won’t recognize them personally.”
While all of these reasons seem valid for giving AI a wide berth, technology expert Jodie Cook says there are deeper, more ingrained reasons why women aren’t jumping on board as much as men.
“The scientific fields [ciência, tecnologia, engenharia e matemática] have traditionally been male-dominated,” says Cook, founder of Coachvox.ai, an app that allows entrepreneurs to create AI clones of themselves.
“The current trend in the adoption of AI tools appears to reflect this disparity, as the skills required for AI are rooted in these exact fields. [ou científicos].”
In the UK, just 24% of the workforce in these exact fields is female and, as a result, “women may feel less confident using AI tools”, adds Cook.
“Even though many tools don’t require technical proficiency, if more women don’t consider themselves technically skilled, they may not try them.”
“And AI also still seems like science fiction. In the media and popular culture, science fiction tends to be marketed to men.”
Cook says that going forward, she wants to see more women using AI and working in the industry.
“As the industry grows, we definitely don’t want to see an ever-widening gap between the genders.”
However, psychologist Lee Chambers says that socially advocated thinking and behavior for women may prevent some from embracing AI.
“It’s the lack of confidence: women tend to want to have a high level of competence in something before they start using it,” he says. “Men, on the other hand, tend to be happy to do something without much competence.”
Chambers also says that women may fear that their abilities will be questioned if they use AI tools.
“Women are more likely to be accused of not being competent, so they have to emphasize their credentials more to demonstrate expertise in a particular area,” he says.
“There may be a feeling that if people know that you, as a woman, use AI, it suggests that you may not be as qualified as you are.”
“Women are already discredited and have their ideas taken over by men. Therefore, having people know that you use an AI can also contribute to the narrative that you are not qualified enough. It’s just one more thing that’s affecting your skills, your competence, or your value.”
Or, as Harriet Kelsall says: “It’s about valuing authenticity and human creativity.”