BlackRock’s COO Said He Gave His Staff A Memo Written By ChatGPT, And They Couldn’t Tell AI Wrote It

BlackRock COO Robert Goldstein revealed a startling revelation on May 16 at the Future of Finance conference in New York: staff members at the investment giant could not tell a strategy memo composed by ChatGPT from one composed by a human.

In an interview with Lee Clifford of Fortune, Robert Goldstein described an experiment leveraging the company’s generative AI strategy. A few months ago, when a board meeting needed a memo, Goldstein and his team chose to have ChatGPT write it instead of drafting it themselves.

“So, we took our strategy document and fed it into ChatGPT with a very simple prompt. And that prompt was, ‘Write an executive summary,'” Goldstein explained. “It gave us a memo. And then we gave that memo to a bunch of people internally to read.”

It’s interesting that nobody noticed the AI-generated aspect of the memo. The tone of the memo was the main subject of criticism. “The comments were typically things like, ‘I hate the tone.’ The comments were like, ‘I think you’re selling yourself short,'” Goldstein shared. “No one realized a computer actually wrote it.”

Goldstein continued, “A couple of people, when we told them it was written by a computer, said, ‘I don’t like the computer’s tone.’ And I’m like, ‘Well, you should take that up with the computer.'”

This experiment raises concerns about AI’s possible effects on the job market by demonstrating the technology’s increasing ability to produce writing that resembles that of a person. BlackRock is still upbeat about AI’s advantages. In a recent earnings call, CEO Larry Fink emphasized that AI investments would enhance productivity, stating, “What it also means is rising wages. The whole organization is doing more with fewer people as a percent of the overall organization. That is really our ambition.”

Still, not everyone has been convinced of AI’s advantages. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva recently issued a dire warning, stating that artificial intelligence might upend the job market “like a tsunami.” Georgieva cautioned at the Swiss Institute of International Studies in Zurich, “We have very little time to get people ready for it, businesses ready for it. It could bring a tremendous increase in productivity if we manage it well, but it can also lead to more misinformation and, of course, more inequality in our society.”

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