Editor's note: Joe Rydholm can be reached at joe@quirks.com.

Is it too early to be bored with ChatGPT? I realize this issue’s cover story is about ChatGPT and I’m the one who decided to put it there, so I’m just adding to the mania. And maybe it’s just a reflection of the speed and totality with which trends/fads/hot new things spread these days. Or the fact that generative AI has the potential to impact all aspects of our lives.

But it all just seems a bit...much.

True, after reading David Boyle and Richard Bowman’s piece in this issue, it’s hard not to be excited, especially if, as they outline, the technology frees researchers from drudgery and lets them focus on adding value by bringing insight and context to ChatGPT’s output.

And if the technology is used properly (and its errors corrected, etc.), I don’t see a problem with it, but I’ve found some of the commentary on LinkedIn and elsewhere about what ChatGPT means for thought leadership to be laughably wrongheaded. Generating thought leadership will be a breeze, this thinking goes, because you’ll be able to harvest all the best writing on whatever topic you want, basically at the push of a button! Yeah, I guess. But so will everybody else with the same goal! 

The whole point of thought leadership – good, worthwhile thought leadership, anyway – is that its creators bring something new or insightful or valuable to the process and help you see a problem or a topic in a different light. Rely on ChatGPT for generating your thought leadership and all you’ll get is a potentially error-filled, unoriginal rehash.

Fortunately, it sounds like consumers are approaching all of this with level heads. Market research cloud company Suzy surveyed 1,000 people for its report Unveiling Consumer Perceptions of Generative AI and found that just over half (53%) were comfortable with AI in the products and services they already use. Over a third (3...