The Leverage of LLMs for Individuals

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to provoke anxiety or exaggerate the power of GPT. It is merely my personal observation after using ChatGPT/GPT-4 intensively for the past six months. It is definitely not applicable to the vast majority of people. This article is for those who wish to create something and have no expectations of “foreseeable returns” on an individual level.

GPT-4, not ChatGPT

First of all, GPT-4 and ChatGPT are two different entities.

If at this point in time (2023.05.10), there are still media outlets boasting or belittling GPT while using ChatGPT as an example instead of GPT-4, then it is not worth reading. You can see the benchmark from OpenAI’s official website.

As a Chinese person, looking at the recently released SuperCLUE large Chinese model benchmark, GPT-4 and other models have a chasm-like difference in professional capability, which also reflects the gap between them indirectly.

Boundless Creativity

I have never written front-end code before, but after 48 hours of conversation with GPT-4, I built a podcast search website. The website is open-sourced with a GPT-4.0 License to express my gratitude.

PodFind - Acquire New Knowledge with Podcasts

A few days later, I wanted to skip certain timestamps when watching videos on web pages. Without any experience in developing Chrome extensions, I followed the instructions by GPT-4 to create files, paste, and drag and drop, and achieved it in less than 15 minutes. I did not put it on the store, and it became a tool serving only me.

Skip the intense moments in horror movies with TimestampX.

Whenever I have a new idea, I ask GPT-4 to write the most basic version, I provide feedback, it apologizes, and we iterate until we reach the 1.0 version I have in mind. I use up my GPT-4 quota (25 entries/3 hours) multiple times a day. With the support of GPT-4, I feel unstoppable. The overnight surge in productivity is intoxicating, not for making money or starting a business, but for the sheer joy of continuously creating ideas from my mind, which feels like happiness.

More importantly, it gives me the courage to dream and attempt things beyond my current abilities. I even plan to create a 3D game.

Recently, the two most frequent tasks I have used GPT for are:

  • Copying and pasting documentation and APIs to GPT-4, asking it to write interfaces based on them. Current documentation is written for human reading, with a mix of text and code blocks that makes copying a poor experience. Perhaps soon, documentation and APIs will become GPT-friendly first.

Having GPT write interfaces based on GPT official documentation

  • Translation and product localization. Even in the age of DeepL, longer sentences can still reveal machine translation traces. However, based on my experience, the translation capability of GPT(whether 3.5 or 4) is far surpasses DeepL. I can localize my products into dozens of other languages at once.

Using GPT for localization in a dozen languages

Using GPT to create product preview pages in other languages

Within 5 months, I single-handedly launched 5 iOS apps.

Individual, not Company

Large language models are a leverage that can amplify the abilities of each user.

If you are an individual developer, the leverage it provides might be 10 times greater, but when you work for a company, that number might be only 2. So, even knowing the current economic downturn and wave of layoffs, for those who want to achieve ideas and create, I still want to express this bold opinion:

Staying in any company right now is a negative return; you are wasting personal leverage.

Unless you work for OpenAI, your GPT leverage is likely wasted on trivial business code, and even more likely that due to the overwhelming amount of poor code, GPT with its 4/8k context window is unable to optimize, further weakening the leverage.

I see too many talented young people trapped in large companies, exhausting their energy in endless documentation and meetings. Maintaining income is the main reason, but they may also be unaware of the potential they have when using GPT alone.

To be more extreme, I even think that joining any team is a kind of slowdown. Only by sailing alone in a small boat can one maintain agility.

Setting Sail Alone

How to generate ideas and sustain a livelihood is not the scope of this article. Many people may not be aware of the leverage GPT-4 offers to individuals and may not have considered the endless possibilities it enables. What I am doing is simply informing them of these aspects.

I hope this is useful to the 0.01% of readers.