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Is ChatGPT The Latest Threat To Filling Vacant Office Space?

Just when you thought it was safe to return to the office, an artificial intelligence (AI) program may be sitting in your chair.

The November launch of the AI chatbot tool ChatGPT has quickly gone from the scourge of teachers trying to get their students to stop using it for term papers to being a very real competitor to human bodies in the office. And for at least one business observer, the negative may quickly outpace the positive in certain industries.

The first professionals to publicly take advantage of the tool in the business world have been real estate agents, who are using ChatGPT to write home listing descriptions and social media posts. But the founder and publisher of New York-based real estate news service TheRealDeal.com is worried about the future, including the chatbot replacing employees in a number of industries. He says office space investors and owners are asleep at the wheel regarding the ChatGPT tool’s influence.

“They’re making decisions like they should only be worried about dealing with the pandemic and distributed work. What they should be paying attention to is the impact that ChatGPT will have on their tenants, and they’re not,” The RealDeal’s Amir Korangy told Benzinga.

U.S. office space is still feeling the impact of the remote workforce brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the VTS Office Demand Index (VODI) reporting that new demand for office space ended 2022 31.3% below its May 2022 high. The index also showed a drop of 20.7% year over year.

“If you look at the legal and accounting professions alone, those are major tenants of office space, and with ChatGPT, you won’t need space for 3,000 people when you only require 300 to do the work,” Korangy said. “Unless I’m totally missing something here, the writing is on the wall. Since ChatGPT debuted in November, there hasn’t been a night I’ve not gone to sleep thinking about it.”

Chatbots have been around for decades, as anyone who has tried to contact a customer service team online is aware. And while most have been relatively primitive with limited responses and the absence of follow-up questions, ChatGPT can carry a conversation through multiple questions. The chatbot also has the ability to deliver numerous tasks that involve natural language processing. But an even more significant benefit is its ability to write detailed reports, summaries, legal opinions and marketing and advertising copy.

Korangy believes the first jobs to be affected by the tool are designers, coders, programmers, copywriters, public relations pros and marketers. “This reminds me of when that machine (Deep Blue) beat (Garry) Kasparov in chess.”

As for his own news business, Korangy says he’s studying the tool’s effectiveness and has already tried some tests on his own. He’s been overwhelmed by how well-written and precise the articles are, but one thing he says can’t be replaced by the chatbot is the ability of his staff “to go out and find news.” Stay tuned.

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This article Is ChatGPT The Latest Threat To Filling Vacant Office Space? originally appeared on Benzinga.com


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