Impact of ChatGPT on the Freelancing Industry in the APAC Region

How will the advent of technology like ChatGPT affect freelancers in the content creation industry, asks Ryan Jason.

Image by Christin Hume

Are you intrigued by the new internet sensation making headlines across the media landscape in recent months? Strangely enough, it is no celebrity but an automated chatbot that is causing heads to turn. 

I can’t help but wonder what the future holds. Will we all be sitting at home reading about the latest celebrity robot drama in the year 2080? Who knows, but for now, let’s focus on where things currently stand.

ChatGPT has caused quite a stir – with some people doubting the authenticity of its content and others using it to fast-track their assignments. Employers are keeping a hawk’s eye on their employees to make sure they’re not getting their work done by the bot. 


 

But how did we get here? Let’s take a step back and explore the origins of ChatGPT and why it has become so controversial. 

The Invention of ChatGPT: Blessing or a Curse?

There’s no question that AI technology has grown significantly in recent years. It’s pretty impressive in what it can do, yet, arguably, worrisome for some. 

ChatGPT is basically a super-smart chatbot that can answer all kinds of questions. From providing advice on eliminating world hunger to successfully attempting to pass the world’s toughest exams, the chatbot is equipped to do it all.


 

Researcher, Dr. Viriya Taecharungroj, analyzed the potential and capabilities of what chatGPT can do. The study revealed that the bot is capable of writing different forms of content on topics including news, technology, and the latest trends. The different forms of content that the bot can generate include creative pieces, essays, prompts, and complex codes. Moreover, the research also focuses on how necessary steps need to be taken to prevent the resultant negative impacts of chatGPT on the job market. 

Despite the negative popularity, ChatGPT has become the world’s fastest app to gain such immense popularity. It gained 100 million users in two months. Not only this but it is estimated that the app is bound to make $200 million in 2023 and $1 billion by 2024, according to data from Business of Apps.

Freelancers outsource their IT-based services in order to monetize their skills. These skills include programming, writing, marketing strategies, etc. Scarily enough, chatGPT has the ability to replace humans and produce content for all these services. 

The freelancing community and many other employees are looking at ChatGPT as an evil job-eating monster.

Freelancing Industry in the APAC Region

The freelancing industry is rapidly evolving and growing in the Asia-Pacific region. According to Inc., 28% of freelancers are found in the APAC region, making it the third largest community worldwide. 

The global landscape of digital marketing in the APAC region for freelancers is expected to grow, with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5% from 2021 to 2026, according to a report by Mordor Intelligence.

Freelancing platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com are available to freelancers in the APAC region, which help them sell their skills in the gig economy. 

How has ChatGPT Impacted Freelancers?

According to a report by PayPal, the APAC region houses almost 195 million freelancers, and they are increasing by the day. 

One of the disadvantages of ChatGPT is its impact on the freelance community. 

With the invention of ChatGPT, people can now produce all the services provided by freelancers, free of any charge. 

Therefore, in the past couple of months, the freelancer community has been stressed about their job security. 

ChatGPT – The Upsides & Downsides

The major disadvantage of ChatGPT is that it has provided humanity with a one-stop solution for producing content. If you enter a good description of what you need to generate, the chatbot will accurately produce it within seconds. 

This has the potential to possibly make people lazy and give them the opportunity to generate any type of written content with minimal to no effort.

Decrease in Job Opportunities

This unrestricted access has made chatGPT common and available to everyone. Freelancers who charge money for providing their services have kind of been replaced by the bot, as it offers the same services for free and instantly. This has decreased job opportunities for freelancers in the gig economy.

Lower Demand for Human Labor 

Think about it: if you are a tech startup with limited resources and you want to launch a website and also start your digital marketing journey, would you hire a team of people to help you or ask ChatGPT? 

If you choose the latter, I understand the logic behind it. It probably revolves around how you can save up a lot of capital by reducing the per-head costs of income payments and the hassle of training people. 

Increase in Market Competition

With the release of chatGPT, market competition in the freelance community has increased. Many freelancers are now not only competing with their counterparts but are also concerned about the capabilities of an automated version of themselves. 

Content Accuracy

As chatbots are fairly new and have been trained on specific data sets, they are still not completely reliable. There are chances that the bot will give you a wrong or factually incorrect response on a topic. 

Legal & Ethical Concerns 

We need to understand that chatbots are designed in such a way that any and all answers they generate are actually extracted from the information fed to them. They do not possess any thinking or critical abilities to differentiate between ethical and unethical behavior. 

Therefore, academics have declared that if students use AI-generated content in exams and academic writing, they will be failed as it goes against ethical educational norms.

Can ChatGPT actually replace humans?

It is still too early to know with certainty who the specific adversaries chatbots are causing in different industries. However, it is pretty evident that the bot is here to stay. 

Many employers are checking freelancers’ and employees’ content’s quality by analyzing it for automated content and prefer that the percentage be below 1%. Therefore, I don’t think freelancing will have to face major setbacks with the onset of chatGPT as the bot often regurgitates redundant responses and lacks latest insights to produce relevant content

Lastly, the creativity and critical analysis skills of humans cannot be replaced by robots. There are 8 billion in the world which means 8 billion perspectives of the same thing. Bots lack experience, and expertise, which can not allow them to create solutions by analyzing problems in a critical manner.

As Albert Einstein once said “Creativity is seeing what others see and thinking what no one else ever thought.”

Will AI eventually embrace that uniquely human quality? Time will tell.

Picture of Ryan Jason

Ryan Jason

Ryan is a technical content writer based in New York

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