How Chat GPT is Revolutionizing Scenario Development

Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), with the new application like Chat GPT is the talk of the town.  While there has been talk about AI replacing many job series – even those in the medical profession – I never thought about it replacing MY job – a foresight and strategy practitioner.  After months of resistance, I decided to take the plunge and try it out.

At first glance, Chat GPT put me out of job.  In seconds it could generate scenarios that were interesting and applicable.  The system has tremendous advantages and applications - and it will be a game changer.  Will I use it to aid in foresight development?  Definitely!  But while keeping some important things in mind:

  • Chat GPT is stuck in 2021. Yep, at least as of now, Chat GPT4 only knows data up to the year 2021.  Why do we care?  Well, as futurists we want to know how the world is changing.  Given the speed of technological development, a more up-to-date Chat GPT-like application may be on the market soon, although it may come with a price tag.  
  • Chat GPT hallucinates. It makes up fictitious facts and tries to pass them off as real (no citations) which many view as a limitation. And it certainly is. However, as futurists we can take advantage of generative AI hallucinatory abilities to harness them for fictional scenarios. Therefore, it may work to our benefit if we want to explore settling a new planet or developing a new line of business, but could be distracting for realistic scenarios, that require factual inputs.
  • Chat GPT is only as good as the prompts you give it. If you do not have a background/education in scenario development, how will you know what prompts to give it for your scenario?  Only by being skilled at developing the drivers that fuel the future, will you be able to “prompt” GPT for an effective scenario output that you can justify to your organization or client.
  • Chat GPT can write a great story, but it takes the human to polish it. So while it does a lot of the work, it may not take you across the finish line.

Practicing Foresight and Strategy is part art/part science.  Leveraging Chat GPT to aid in our foresight and strategy work is good.  Relying on it to do all the work for us is not.  The roles of foresight and strategy practitioners are still critical.  We need to help clients understand how all the pieces of foresight and strategy fit together to enable effective decision-making.  We need to work with students to train them on how to develop good foresight and strategy management.  We need to know how to manage Chat GPT to get the most out of it. And we need to ensure whatever we develop is measured and managed to make sure it is delivering the outcomes we want in the future.

Is generative AI great? You bet!  Will it change the way I work?  Absolutely.  Am I out of a job?  Not yet!

By Robin Champ with contributions from Dr. Inna Baron

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Robin Champ