Dealing with the new 

 March 20, 2023

"Digitalization - in times of ChatGPT & Co. this sounds as old-fashioned as EDP".

Richard Seidl

Well, tried it out yet? ChatGPT, midjourney or Jasper? "Write me a column of about 4000 characters for IT-Spektrum on the topic of agility in the future. Short sentences, casual language style" Or "What exactly does this regex do? rege(x(es)?\ xps?)"Oh yes, I become a childlike researcher again, curious and fascinated by the ideas for prompts my colleagues and acquaintances come up with.

The past feeling

And I've been catching myself doing this for a few days now: when I think of the word "Digitalization", it triggers a nostalgic feeling in me, as if I were thinking of audio cassettes or EDP. Maybe you know the feeling?

I sometimes have that feeling when I'm filling up the tank ... namely when I hold the nozzle into the tank, the diesel gurgles into our old Ford and I look at the phalanx of Tesla Superchargers. Not melancholy or envious, but rather aware: The old is ending and something new is beginning.

The threat

This moment also occurs in the day-to-day business of my customers. They are somewhere on the journey into the digital future, some at the beginning, others more advanced.

And then something like ChatGPT comes along, and the excitement is great: Will I as a programmer or tester now be replaced by ChatGPT? Do we still need our product at all? Do we need to hire prompters now? Should we ban AI in the enterprise? Or regulate it?

Of course, fear, insecurity and the need for stability play a major role here. We all feel uncomfortable with new and unknown things at first. But then comes the decisive moment:

Dealing with the new

A no vote ends the discussion. A ban stops creative thoughts. Ignorance fixes us in rigidity. I perceive that we take refuge in this attitude far too much due to many imponderables that just fall in front of our feet: No, forbid, ignore. This reaction is understandable, but the world is changing - and always has been. Nokia started as a pulp factory, later produced rubber goods and electronics. Wrigley started not with chewing gum, but with soap. And IBM, now known as a technology company, started out making scales, time recorders and tabulating machines. August Oetker experimented with freckle ointment as a pharmacist before discovering baking soda. Photography and film went digital. Studied graphic designers illustrated and pasted Letraset before being replaced by media designers and later 99designs.

In short: times are changing. That everything will remain as it is is a fairy tale. What's more: "If we want everything to stay as it is, then it is necessary for everything to change", as Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa knew. Because: "... he who does not move with the times, moves with the times" - Friedrich Schiller. It doesn't have to be a blind "yes", a "yes, let's see" is enough. For example, with a few new questions: How can we try out ChatGPT as a team? What exciting prompts could enrich our knowledge and our work? How can I use it to create better test data? Or better code?
It may be that we don't end up using it productively. But experience. Knowledge. Discussion. Or something completely different. Easier work. Efficiency. Fun. A new product. A new business area. Or ...

In diesem Sinne, prompte mal „Nenne mir 10 konkrete Beispiele, wie mich KI in der <Branche> unterstützen kann?“