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Business News/ Weekend / AI won't take your job just yet
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Dear reader,

This week, I finally gave in to my curiosity and tried out Gen AI for the first time. For those of you not constantly glued into the world of startups, tech, and Bangalore, Gen AI is short for generative artificial intelligence. It's supposed to be the next big thing, much like how Uber changed transportation and how WhatsApp transformed how we stayed in touch.

Two main platforms are ready to use right now: OpenAI's ChatGPT, and Google's Bard. I gave it multiple prompts, asking about a range of topics: fact of the days, financial discussions, and ultimately asked both robots if Royal Challengers Bangalore will ever win the Indian Premier League. ChatGPT was fairly straightforward: it told me it was an AI language model, and thus couldn't predict the future.

ChatGPT is fairly neutral.
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ChatGPT is fairly neutral.

Meanwhile, Bard chose the sassy rout. Bangalore fans, take cover:

The same can't be said for Bard.
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The same can't be said for Bard.

Ouch.

Of course, I was using ChatGPT's free version (ChatGPT 3.5). Maybe the paid version (Chat GPT 4.0) can add some insult to injury.

One of Gen AI's promises has been to change journalism. Seeing it work in real time, there's some fear of a reporter and editor's job turning redundant. What I do know is that AI will never be able to compete with a writer. It can be a substitute for Google or Quora, maybe.

In case you're wondering No, this article wasn't written by ChatGPT or Bard. This is 100 percent me. After a few rounds, you realise how soulless Gen AI writing is, and how lucky we are to have actual human writers. With the rise of AI, we'll only notice this gulf even more. As our editor-in-chief said recently, the Internet may soon become a wasteland of AI generated content."

Anyway here are this week's best stories from our newsroom written and edited by individuals with a pulse and a soul:

India's GDP numbers were released this week. The surface-level numbers looked good, and beat analyst expectations. Explaining the unexpected but welcome positive results, economist Rupali Sarkar singled out capital expenditure as a big driver in her piece, while our columnist extraordinare Vivek Kaul wrote a succinct Primer on what to make of the numbers.

The GDP seems to be recovering.
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The GDP seems to be recovering.

However, Mint's in-house editorial view is that a closer look at the numbers reveals some worries, specifically the weakness in private consumption and lack of rural growth. We invited Himanshu, associate professor at the Jawaharlal National University, to also give a more nuanced take on the numbers. He pointed out that inequality has never been more rampant. With wages dropping, the headline figures look enticing but the on-ground data paints an entirely different picture.

The government's sudden announcement of a 20% tax on foreign spending, and an even more sudden withdrawal of the announcement led to a lot of scratched heads. While there was some relief when the Centre clarified that the 20% tax would only apply to credit card spends above 7 lakhs, our personal finance write Shipra Singh outlined how forex cards will still attract the 20% tax.

Access to ONDC opened up for the general public through select apps a month ago. Tech-savvy folks immediately jumped on the opportunity and ordered their favourite food at hugely discounted rates. ONDC was spouted as the UPI moment for e-commerce democratising access to online shopping for those that aren't used to the Flipkart's and Zomato's of the world. Is that possible? We invited TN Hari, co-founder of the Artha School of Entrepreneurship, to give his views on the topic what better way to map out a new ecosystem than to ask someone who has seen it develop and flourish for 20-odd years?

Most parents I know don't think twice before handing their kids a smartphone.
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Most parents I know don't think twice before handing their kids a smartphone. (AP/Andy Wong)

The ONDC and UPI moments are only possible because of the smartphone revolution in India. However, a downside of this move is the vast amount of mobile phones, tablets, and other electronic devices kids have these days. Infants don't eat food without watching something, and social media isn't an ideal playground for school kids. Mint's national writer Sayantan Bera writes about how your kids can be trapped in a digital abyss.

Speaking of mobiles, former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan pointed out concerns over India's phone manufacturing data. He said that while data looked good, it was propped up by assembly of phones, and not necessarily manufacturing. National editor Sumant Banerji wrote an explainer that showed that data backed up what Rajan said, and why we should be careful about waving victory flags.

Many young Indians have chosen to move abroad, particularly to the US, in search of better job prospects and more money. However, not all of them plan to settle there for good. Mint Money's Satya Sontanam writes about how NRIs earn in dollars, and retire in rupees.

June 1 officially marks the start of the monsoon season. However, the crucial weather system is currently undergoing a delayed onset in India. FMCG reporter Suneera Tandon writes about how late monsoon and the generally unstable weather patterns in India are upending consumer goods companies' plans.

堆 I'll come to the end, by talking about The Endg. It's not easy to talk about death, and perhaps even more difficult to talk about finances. Mint Money writer Sashind Ningthoukhongjam writes about why it's important to have a will and why it can secure your legacy in a hassle-free way. I wouldn't miss this one.

That's all for this week. I hope you have a relaxing and fun weekend. Rest assured, AI will only augment our jobs, and not take over.

If you have any thoughts, ideas, or feedback on our journalism (or subscription), please feel free to write to me (shashwat.mohanty@htdigital.in). We're a perpetually evolving news product, so any and every input is appreciated!

Best,

Shashwat Mohanty

Assistant Editor

Subscriber Experience Team

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Updated: 03 Jun 2023, 03:48 PM IST
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