Chat GPT: The Final Word (For Now)

Apr 24 / Drs. Bryan & Julie Walsh

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been discussing ChatGPT and what it means for health practitioners. (In case you missed it, you can catch up here and here.)

  • Should it be used and if so, in what context?
  • Is it cheating?
  • What are the deeper implications of its use?
We’ve gotten quite a few responses from others on the use of ChatGPT. And honestly, it’s a mixed bag. Some practitioners are all for it, they see it as another helpful piece of technology and are excited about its utility. We were surprised to realize; this was the majority opinion.

We’ve kept this series mindfully neutral so far but, that neutrality ends now.

There are at least 20 different ways to explain why using ChatGPT deserves a much deeper level of consideration than it’s being given but in the interest of time we’ve settled on an analogy that hopefully will speak to you, as a health and wellness professional.

ChatGPT is to the health practitioner what fast food is to society.

It’s attractive, easy, and convenient, but there’s a downside and a big one at that.

Think about it.

You, a health practitioner, are using ChatGPT to get a result (an answer, a blog post, social media content) faster, more conveniently, and possibly better than you could do.

Society is using fast food to get a result (eating) faster, more convenient, and possibly tastier than they could do.

Does this mean that fast food is good for them? Is it a helpful tool that saves them time? Of course not.

When fast food first hit the scenes, housewives all over the world were rejoicing! Not spending hours in the kitchen chopping, peeling, boiling, baking…yes, please!

What a time saver just to pop a complete meal on a plastic tray into the microwave and pass it out to your family in under 15 minutes so they can eat and watch television at the same time!

How easy it is not to get out of your car, drive up to a window, get food in under 5 minutes, and eat while driving down the road...

How wonderful not to have to clean up your kitchen every night!

Now, we of course know that industrialized food has led to an explosion of chronic health conditions including obesity, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disease…

But wait, it saves so much time, right?

ChatGPT could potentially result in its own version of chronic disease. Here are just a few reasons why:

Brain Health: If you don’t use it, you lose it.

Does ChatGPT make you use your brain less? Absolutely.

If we're telling our patients to eat with their non-dominant hand, play chess, learn a new language, and do a host of other exercises all to protect and use their brain, why are we so open to using our brain less by getting something to tell us answers, write articles, and outline patient recommendations?

Bias: You’re putting all your eggs in one basket

ChatGPT is a private, for-profit company and as much as you think it scours the internet for the best possible answer, that isn't true. It can be programmed to pull from some websites and not others. You're putting your faith in a company with a potential bias to give you an immediate answer, over your ability to find the answer yourself.

Without the ability to discern good information from not, you’re resigned to believing the information that’s given to you. At least if you’re scouring the internet, you’re using your brain to sift through data, sources, and references.

Laziness: A body at rest tends to stay at rest.

The more we rely on a quick and easy solution, the more we'll lean on that solution in the future. Don't believe us? When's the last time you tried to find your way somewhere driving without putting it into Wayz or Google Maps?

ChatGPT is a gateway drug.

Using ChatGPT as a thesaurus can turn into ChatGPT as your article writer, and the next thing you know, you're relying on it to do virtually all your thinking for you.

As with everything, hindsight is 20/20. But the question is when will we start utilizing that hindsight to make connections between past events and better decisions for our future?

We'd love to hear your thoughts about ChatGPT! Send us a message