Mfon Akpan is an assistant professor of accounting at Methodist University. He is also an expert on ChatGPT and the host of the Understanding Accounting YouTube channel. We discuss using AI language models in business, how to ask smart questions on ChatGPT, and ways ChatGPT can supercharge your small business growth. Listen to the whole episode here.

This week on the Management Blueprint podcast, our guest Mfon Akpan, assistant professor of accounting at Methodist University and ChatGPT expert, delves into the use of AI in business models and how to supercharge your business growth with ChatGPT. Join us as we discuss his YouTube channel’s success and the transformative power of ChatGPT.

Mfon shares the story of how his YouTube channel gained popularity. Initially, he started creating videos as educational resources for his students. While the early content focused on problem-solving in Excel spreadsheets, it was the collaboration with other YouTube creators that propelled his channel forward. By engaging with different creators and consistently posting valuable content, Mfon saw his channel grow exponentially. He emphasizes the importance of collaboration and the value of consistency in content creation. As he continued to hone his skills, the quality of his videos improved, leading to increased engagement and a growing audience.

The conversation then shifts to ChatGPT, a chatbot powered by a large language model (LLM). Mfon explains that ChatGPT can answer questions, generate text, write poems, and even create outlines or books. Its ability to provide contextual answers in a conversational manner makes it a powerful tool for various applications. The key lies in understanding its limitations and leveraging its strengths effectively.

Mfon highlights the potential of ChatGPT to boost productivity. When used by individuals knowledgeable about a specific field, it can amplify their capabilities and provide quick insights or content generation. For instance, Mfon mentions that ChatGPT helped him summarize his book within seconds, providing a starting point that could be edited for greater accuracy. Similarly, asking for a top 10 list or seeking advice on remodeling a bathroom can yield valuable information that can be refined and enhanced by human input.

While ChatGPT offers immense potential, it’s essential to recognize its limitations. Mfon shares experiences where ChatGPT hallucinated, generating inaccurate information or fabricating content. It is crucial to validate the information provided by ChatGPT, especially in unfamiliar domains. Additionally, ChatGPT’s performance varies across different subjects, with some areas showing greater improvement than others over time. Ongoing updates and advancements make it vital to stay informed about the model’s capabilities and potential limitations.

The rapid evolution of ChatGPT is a testament to the pace of technological advancements. Mfon discusses the ever-changing nature of the model, with updates and new versions being released frequently. This dynamic nature poses challenges for researchers, as the validity of previous studies and comparisons may become outdated with each update. However, it also demonstrates the potential for growth and improvement in the technology.

Mfon and Steve touch on the business implications of ChatGPT’s rise. They discuss how the technology has already influenced various industries, leading to the creation of innovative applications like transcription services that streamline content creation processes. The ability to generate accurate transcriptions at an affordable price is just one example of how businesses can leverage ChatGPT to enhance their operations.

As the technology continues to evolve, the traditional rule of 10 by 10 no longer applies to new technologies. In the past, it would take around 10 years for a technology to be developed, another 10 years for it to be perfected, and then another 10 years for it to be fully adopted. This was the case with technologies like colored TVs and CDs. However, in recent times, this cycle has started to shorten significantly.

Mfon and I discussed the rapid development of GPT technology and how it's changing the traditional rule of the "10 by 10." It's exciting to see how quickly technology is advancing and the potential it holds for businesses of all sizes. Click To Tweet

Take the example of ChatGPT-4, which was launched in November 2022. Within just two months, it garnered 100 million monthly active users, a speed of adoption that has never been seen before. This accelerated pace of development can be both exciting and scary. From a business standpoint, it presents amazing opportunities for innovation and efficiency. However, it also raises questions about the future and how rapidly technology will continue to evolve.

Regarding the development and updates of ChatGPT-4, the latest update was in March 2023. While we know that the updates make the model better, the specific details of the changes and their impact on various fields are not always clear. Open AI has mentioned that there are no immediate plans to release ChatGPT-5, but the nature and extent of future updates remain unknown.

Now, let’s explore the practical applications of ChatGPT-4 for small to medium-sized business owners. While there is no comprehensive manual for utilizing this technology, there are various ways it can be implemented to enhance efficiency. Business owners can start by using the ChatGPT-4 Plus version and explore how it can be integrated into their operations. It’s essential to experiment, dive in, and discover the specific applications and benefits for their business.

Additionally, Open AI offers an API for ChatGPT-4, which allows developers to access its capabilities and build custom applications. The API can be used to connect with agents that work on specific tasks. These agents continuously iterate on a problem, generate their own prompts, and work tirelessly to find solutions. This enables automation and efficiency in areas such as research, programming, or optimizing business processes.

While routine tasks, including research, can be automated with the help of agents powered by ChatGPT-4, the human element of creativity and critical thinking remains crucial. ChatGPT-4 can assist in executing tasks more efficiently and providing information. However, it is essential to have the initial ideas, knowledge, and direction to harness its full potential. The technology amplifies human capabilities rather than replacing them entirely.

As we move forward, it’s likely that automation will continue to streamline routine tasks, allowing individuals to focus on higher-level thinking and strategy. However, it’s important to remember that technology is a tool, and it requires human expertise to guide and utilize it effectively. Small and medium-sized business owners, already experts in their domains, can leverage ChatGPT-4’s superpowers to enhance their efficiency and decision-making processes.

ChatGPT-4 presents exciting possibilities for businesses in terms of efficiency, problem-solving, and innovation. While there is no manual for its applications, business owners can explore and experiment with the technology to find ways to integrate it into their operations. The API and agents offer additional opportunities for customization and automation. As we embrace this new age of technology, it’s crucial to combine our expertise and creativity with the power of AI to unlock its full potential.

Mfon Akpan – LinkedIn
Mfon Akpan – Website
Understanding Accounting – YouTube channel

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