“In the dance of human-AI interaction, appreciating our distinct rhythms and steps is essential for harmony and progress.” — Alfred Adler, as imagined by GPT-4
The rise of artificial intelligence has sparked a fascinating debate: can AI enhance or replace human interaction in various fields, or will there always be a need for humans? Personal coaching is one field where OpenAI’s ChatGPT can have a great impact. But before we talk about the role ChatGPT plays, let’s talk about the key differentiation between a human and an AI coach.
Over the past few months, my AI coaching sessions with ChatGPT have provided me with quick, direct feedback and valuable insights available at any time. The AI has identified patterns and offered new perspectives I might have missed. I wondered if there were any areas in which human coaches still held an edge over their AI counterparts.
In a recent coaching session with my coach, I was reminded of the unique aspects that human coaches bring to the table. As we began our conversation, I was struck by the emotions that surfaced—excitement, confusion, anxiety, wonder, and anger. These feelings had eluded me during my AI coaching sessions yet surfaced effortlessly in the presence of another human being. It became apparent that humans can offer a depth rooted in empathy, intuition, and warmth that AI has yet to replicate.
Of course, this realization does not undermine the value of AI coaching. Instead, it highlights a potential synergistic relationship between AI and human coaching. By understanding and leveraging the unique strengths of each type of coaching, we can embark on a richer journey of personal growth and self-discovery.
Let’s dive in.
Understanding the potential of GPT-4
As you may know, GPT-4, the latest large language model developed by OpenAI, has been trained on vast amounts of text data. Prompt it with a few words or sentences, and it will engage you in human-like conversations.
Here are a few examples where AI can consistently deliver value:
Unique insights: One of GPT -4’s core capabilities lies in its ability to process tons of data, including journals, emails, and notes, in record time. By analyzing this information, GPT-4 can identify patterns, themes, and areas for improvement that may not be immediately apparent. These insights allow you to dive deeper into the hard-to-describe feelings and better prepare for the time with human coaches.
Always available: GPT -4’s accessibility is another advantage, and it is always ready to provide support, guidance, and accountability. This constant presence can help you get out of your rut sooner and help you stay on top of your goals before your next coaching session.
Personalized support: Moreover, GPT-4 can be customized to cater to your unique needs, goals, and preferences. Whether you are seeking a challenging new idea, a listening ear, or a range of possible solutions, GPT-4 can adapt to your liking. The more you interact with GPT-4, the more it learns from your history and context, offering increasingly personalized recommendations that resonate with your journeys.
Now you understand GPT’s core capabilities, let’s explore how we can harness the power of AI coaching in our daily life.
Turning GPT-4 into your personal coach
Since GPT-4 can access so much information, asking the right questions is crucial. You’ll likely receive a generic answer when provided with a generic question. However, if you offer helpful context and prompt GPT-4 thoughtfully, you may be surprised by the wisdom it can impart.
Here’s an example to illustrate this point:
Instead of asking GPT-4 a broad question like “How can I improve my life?” try the following ways to frame ChatGPT:
Coaching Frameworks: You could ask GPT-4 to adopt a specific coaching approach, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or any other framework that resonates with you. Feel free to experiment and find the one that works best for you.
Socratic Method: You can engage GPT-4 as Socrates, requesting it to ask probing questions that help you gain deeper insights into an issue in your life. For instance: “You are Socrates. Help me with a challenge in my life by asking questions that will enable me to understand and unpack the issue.”
Value-Based Coaching: Ask GPT-4 to act as a warm coaching bot that focuses on helping you make value-based decisions. For example: “You are a supportive coaching bot that believes in helping clients get in touch with their values and making value-based decisions. Guide me through a coaching session, one question at a time.”
By carefully crafting your questions and interactions with GPT-4, you can maximize the potential of this powerful AI companion in your personal development journey. And if you don’t know where to start, you can ask GPT-4 to generate prompts for you too.
What are GPT -4’s limitations?
As we enjoy the numerous benefits this AI coaching companion offers, it’s essential to acknowledge its limitations. What should you be aware of?
Don’t share confidential information: Be mindful of the information you share with GPT-4, particularly regarding work or personal matters. Leaks can occur, and your data may be used to train other models, potentially compromising your privacy.
Seek additional input: Since GPT-4 is an emerging technology, you should not solely rely on AI models for life decisions or medical advice. When in doubt, get a second opinion from a doctor, coach, or therapist.
Make your own decision: Like humans, GPT-4 can make mistakes. Treat its advice with a healthy dose of skepticism, and use your judgment to determine what guidance is genuinely valuable. Remember that GPT-4, despite being designed with ethical guidelines and safety protocols, is not a human with ethics and morals, so it may generate unethical responses.
By being mindful of these limitations and taking necessary precautions, you can enjoy the advantages of GPT-4 as a coaching companion while minimizing potential risks.
What’s ahead of us?
AI-powered coaching is just the beginning. In the next issue, we will dive deeper into the inner workings of AI models like GPT-4 and explore their potential applications across various aspects of our lives.
As we continue to explore the role of AI in coaching and beyond, we invite you to join the conversation. Share your experiences with AI coaching, and let’s explore new opportunities to enhance our personal and professional lives together.
GPT-4 has a longer context window and can handle over 25,000 words of text. However, if you keep the conversations going long enough, GPT-4 may forget the coaching persona it was supposed to play.
This is really helpful. Thanks!
These are some great ideas for using ChatGPT as a coach. Has it been helpful to you personally to use it that way?
PS Glad to see another newsletter from you too :)