Some people are hoping that artificial intelligence, with its vaunted and wide-ranging abilities, can help them achieve a notoriously elusive goal: getting rich quick.
Social media influencers are testing whether “generative” AI tools like ChatGPT can help them, and their legions of followers, make money by, for example, doing the legwork required to start a business.
YouTuber Gillian Perkins, who has nearly 700,000 subscribers, also explains how to use ChatGPT to make thousands of dollars a month generating marketing emails to help businesses drive sales. They typically pay freelancers between $100 and $500 per email, according to Perkins. She lays out steps to follow and how to ask ChatGPT for help, starting with securing clients.
ChatGPT as email marketer
“Ask it to write a short, punchy email-friendly email pitching email marketing services,” Perkins explained, referring to the “prompts” used to search for information using AI tools. Next, users can ask the AI to generate a list of types of local businesses, such as bars, bookstores, florists and yoga studios.
This part you have to do on your own: Use a search engine like Google to find the names of those local businesses. Then, hit send on that ChatGPT-generated template.
“Every single client that you successfully land is going to start consistently paying you month after month,” Perkins said.
To be sure, while some time-consuming tasks, like writing emails, can be outsourced to AI, it’s not exactly a get rich quick scheme.
Ethan Mollick, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, warned aspiring millionaires not to count on ChatGPT to make their fortunes.
“I think AI is really important. Everything we’re seeing about early evidence is that it increases your productivity by 30% to 80% in lots of writing and analysis tasks,” he told CBS News. “But it’s really not magical secrets. What you have to do is use it yourself.”
Like an “infinite intern”
Mollick requires his students to use ChatGPT so they can better understand where it excels and what kinds of tasks humans are better at.
“It’s good for a lot of things. It’s almost best to think of it like a person, like an intern that you have working for you,” he said. “So tasks you’d assign to an infinite intern who lies a little bit sometimes, who wants to make you really happy.”
Mollick uses the AI as a writing assistant, but isn’t overly reliant on it. While it’s useful for a range of tasks, “you need to help it out,” he said.
“If I get stuck on a paragraph of writing, I’ll ask AI to give me 20 versions of that paragraph and use that as inspiration to continue,” he explained. “So it can help you overcome blockages in your regular life and help you be a better and more productive writer.”
In short, AI alone isn’t going to generate a billion-dollar idea that lets you ditch your day job.
“As an entrepreneurship professor, there’s a lot of opportunities to get rich maybe a little slower using this, by using it as a tool, a cofounder, a multiplier of your own effort. And I want to teach students how to do that,” Mollick said.