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ChatGPT can help your business grow. The government can too. But neither will create jobs

SMEs are crucial for South Africa's economic growth. Therefore, it's essential for the government to support these businesses, and technologies such as ChatGPT can provide solutions.

Rael Levitt
Rael Levitt
February 28, 2023
ChatGPT is changing the way business work
ChatGPT is changing the way business work

By now, you've probably heard of ChatGPT, the general-purpose free chatbot prototype everyone is currently obsessed about using. If you have not heard about it, you are doing yourself and your business disfavour. So get cracking; it's a disruptive technology that will change your business.  

Penning these articles normally takes time as I ponder what to write. So, I thought I would ask ChatGPT to write the first part. This is what I asked of the bot: "please write an article in 500 words about being positive. In South Africa using a few quotes from positive people".

In seconds it produced the response below.

South Africa has faced many challenges, but through positivity, its people have found the strength to overcome adversity. In today's world, positivity remains vital in overcoming business, politics, and personal difficulties. South African businesses have always adapted and thrived in the face of economic recessions, political unrest, and other disasters. This is due to their positive attitude and the belief that adversity can bring growth.

Positivity also plays a crucial role in the personal lives of South Africans. Despite their challenges, they remain optimistic and find ways to stay positive. This resilience is embodied in Nelson Mandela's words, "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it." By embracing positivity, individuals and businesses can develop a habit of excellence and achieve success.

However, some believe negativity is key to success. But as Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do." Individuals and businesses can change their thoughts and world by focusing on positivity.

In conclusion, South Africa's ability to remain positive in adversity has made it a better business and nation. In the world of 2023, positivity remains essential in overcoming adversity. Individuals and businesses can create a better future by embracing positivity and a can-do attitude. As Norman Vincent Peale said, "Change your thoughts, and you change your world." Let us strive to create a world filled with positivity, hope, and prosperity.

Impressive stuff.

The cynic in me was wondering whether President Ramphosa (or his speech writers) used ChatGPT to create his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA) speech on the 10th of February.

My result sounds similar to the President's bland rambling speech. Respected Sunday Times journalist Peter Bruce recently wrote that his SONA speech is stitched together information (or misinformation) given to him by his various ministers. Makes sense.  

I watched the SONA to hear how the government plans to help SMEs with load-shedding relief.

ChatGPT can be a game-changer for businesses

At Inospace, our mission is to create solutions for businesses. Outside of load-shedding assistance, I've recently started applying my mind to how to use ChatGPT to help our client's businesses. I am convinced it can be a game changer for most businesses. ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence product, and there is no question that it will replace jobs. It can provide the basis for many prosaic tasks performed as jobs or parts of jobs today. The savvy entrepreneurs who put the features of ChatGPT into the framework of their businesses will create the kind of disruption seen repeated throughout history.

Bounce back loan scheme to support SMEs

This brings me back to President Rampahosa's parliamentary address. He spoke a lot about the power crisis. He mentioned setting up a "bounce back" loan scheme to support small businesses affected by rolling blackouts. That sounds exciting, but we are yet to hear how the plan will work.

Inospace has been championing this sort of scheme for a long time and assisting SMEs with reducing red tape and other unnecessary obstacles that get in their way. The President hardly mentioned the unemployment crisis –another grave risk to South Africa's future.

The government does not create jobs; businesses do. Large businesses shed jobs through using technology - like ChatGPT. But smaller businesses (SMEs), particularly industrial-based businesses, are massive job creators.

SMEs are vital for the SA economy

In fact, small and medium-sized enterprises are critical for the growth and development of any economy, and this is especially true for South Africa. SMEs are defined as businesses with less than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than R100 million in South Africa. These enterprises are the backbone of the South African economy and play a vital role in creating jobs, driving innovation, and contributing to economic growth.

One of the key benefits of SMEs is their ability to create jobs. In South Africa, SMEs employ over 60% of the country's workforce. This is especially important in a country where unemployment rates are consistently high. By providing job opportunities, SMEs not only contribute to the economic growth of the country but also help to alleviate poverty and reduce inequality.

SMEs are also key drivers of innovation. These enterprises are often more agile and flexible than their larger counterparts, allowing them to adapt quickly to changing market conditions and customer needs. This ability to pivot and innovate is critical in a fast-paced and competitive business environment. In South Africa, SMEs are responsible for a significant amount of research and development, which leads to new products, services, and technologies that benefit the economy as a whole.

Another important aspect of SMEs is their contribution to economic growth. Small businesses are more likely to reinvest their profits back into the local economy, which in turn creates a multiplier effect. This means that the money spent by SMEs is more likely to be spent locally, which creates more jobs and stimulates economic growth. Big businesses, on the other hand, want to grow outside of South Africa for all the obvious reasons. But SMEs often positively impact the development of the communities in which they operate, providing support and assistance to local businesses and organizations.

In conclusion, small and medium-sized enterprises are critical for the growth and development of the South African economy. These enterprises create jobs, drive innovation, and contribute to economic growth. As such, it is important for the government and other stakeholders to continue to support and invest in SMEs, as they play a vital role in building a stronger, more sustainable, and more prosperous South Africa. ChatGPT can help SMEs. The government can too, but if they can't, they should just let SMEs get on with it without putting obstacles in their way.