ChatGPT - 4 Things to Watch out For

BL00 - ChatGPT - 4 Things to Watch out For

By Mo Edjlali, Mindful Leader Founder and CEO

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article titled "4 Ways ChatGPT Might Help With Mindfulness Facilitation" to share my excitement and showcase some of the cool things we can do with ChatGPT. While there were a number of positive comments, my friend and colleague Jamie Bristow raised some valid concerns about the limitations of using artificial intelligence (AI) for mindfulness facilitation. 

ChatGPT 4 things comment

In this article, we will explore some of these concerns and provide some suggestions for using ChatGPT in a mindful and responsible way.

The Power and Limitations of AI

To be transparent I am biased. I’m a computer engineer by training and have been involved in the tech industry for over two decades. I’ve watched the extraordinary progress of AI in chess, and wanted to share a video from a popular chess YouTuber Gotham Chess (a human) reviewing the game between two chess AIs, in his own words “I’m going to show you just how powerful and creative and exciting alpha zero (AI) is to chess and the influence it’s had on chess computers and human chess play moving forward.”

This is a human analyzing the game of two AI computers playing chess. AIs have created a great deal of excitement and challenged centuries-old chess strategies ushering in the most prolific human grandmasters in history. And at the same time, the AIs are getting smarter and smarter. I share this because I believe in the not-too-distant future we may see AIs having philosophical or political debates. I believe just like in chess, we will watch and review these debates and our thinking will be challenged in all sorts of new ways.

I recognize my own bias and am a bit optimistic about this, at the same time we need to be grounded in reality and it's important to also be critical.

Let me start by acknowledging that AI is not a substitute for human intelligence or well-trained professional mental health or mindfulness facilitators. AI has shown great potential however it can not replace the human-to-human connection, empathy, and understanding that we get from the presence of a fellow human being. As a tool it can complement our work and support us humans doing it, it not be considered a replacement. In how we use it, we need to understand the limitations and use it appropriately. Let's recognize the importance of being mindful and critical of the limitations and potential biases of AI, while also acknowledging its transformative potential.

Four Things to Watch Out for When Using ChatGPT for Mindfulness Facilitation

To address some of the concerns and provide some guidance for using ChatGPT for mindfulness facilitation, I asked ChatGPT directly, 'What are four things people should watch out for when using ChatGPT for mindfulness facilitation support?'

So, how did ChatGPT respond? 

“As a language model, ChatGPT can provide support for mindfulness facilitation to some extent, but it's essential to keep in mind that it's not a substitute for professional mental health services. Here are four things people should watch out for when using ChatGPT for mindfulness facilitation support:

  1. Not a substitute for professional mental health services: Although ChatGPT can offer some guidance, it is not a substitute for professional mental health services. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, it is crucial to seek help from a licensed mental health professional.
  2. Limitations of technology: ChatGPT is a machine-learning algorithm that operates based on programmed responses to prompts. Although it can provide support, it cannot provide the same level of empathy, insight, and nuanced understanding that a trained mindfulness facilitator or therapist can provide.
  3. Misinterpretation of language: While ChatGPT is programmed to understand natural language, it is still a machine learning algorithm that may not always accurately interpret language nuances or recognize sarcasm, humor, or other forms of figurative language. Therefore, it's important to use clear and concise language when seeking support.
  4. Potential bias in responses: ChatGPT's responses are based on the data it was trained on. This data may have inherent biases that can influence its responses. Therefore, it's important to recognize that the responses provided by ChatGPT may not always be unbiased or neutral and to approach its responses with a critical eye.

Using ChatGPT Mindfully and Responsibly

Not a bad start, we will continue to explore the limitations and the potential of these tools. I continue to be surprised and delighted by this tool.  All this said I believe ChatGPT is an incredible tool and one of many AI tools that I believe will fundamentally change how we work. However, let’s be cautious. Using ChatGPT for mindfulness facilitation requires mindfulness, critical thinking, and ethical considerations. 

AI will be transformative, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai said regarding the impact of AI on humanity “It’s more profound than..electricity or fire.” Like I’ve seen in the chess world, I believe it will be for the benefit of humanity. Now that all said, there are some major ethical, political, and power issues at play. The data that these AI programs have been trained on is, in frightening ways, biased towards the dominant culture, the companies that control these AIs, and the interfaces to them have been secretive and have their own bias controlling what can be asked and what can not. There are the capitalistic elements of how this all is monetized, and lastly, there is always the threat of AI taking over - singularity. Let's not ignore these concerns, let's be educated and understanding.

I’m excited to further explore and share with you how we are exploring how to use ChatGPT and other AI tools to future our mission while not ignoring limitations. As we continue to learn from our own experimentation and from the field we are creating a course.

Interested in exploring more on how you can use ChatGPT? I am working on a course to do exactly that. Sign up here to stay updated on course launch details.

What are your experiences and insights on using ChatGPT mindfully and responsibly in our field?


Andrea G

Thank you for this article! I've found Chatgpt very useful, as a very confident Assistant kind of thing... however, as you share, we have to use it for things we are absolutely capable of doing ourselves, we are only saving time. Why? because Chatgpt is a generator.. not an expert :) so it cannot discern between mistaken information and valuable information... and can give you an answer CONFIDENTLY, not knowing it is mistaken. So I am super happy about the advantages... let's keep on sharing the downfalls so we use it mindfully and ethically.

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Mo Edjlali

Thanks for your comment Andrea!  I like how you said its a generator, not an expert -  what a great way to sum it up. 

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Teresa McKee

I appreciate the generator description as well.  I've been exploring ChatGPT for just the last couple of weeks and am amazed at how quickly it responds as well as the accuracy on many topics.  Having said that, the most accurate descriptions are in arenas based on factual information, like economic, historical, etc.  When I've tested on social, psychological or mindfulness topics, there is either some misinformation or the response is sometimes too vague to be very useful.  It did return a satisfactory response regarding neurodivergent mindfulness practices, which was helpful in my preparation for a workshop. I'm excited by the possibilities, but quite cautious in relying on too much.  I think it has the potential to be a great tool, but we need to use it responsibly. Thanks for opening this topic up for further discussion.

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Ken Lunn

As a mindfulness teacher and IT expert who once lead an AI research group, I would be wary of any machine-generated text being used directly in affective situations. The narrow definition of intelligence that sees chess as a pinnacle misses a point. Most AI algorithms solve problems in ways that humans do not and cannot - if I play chess I do not search hundreds of thousands of options. ChatGPT is scarily impressive, but great care is needed in using anything it produces. When we start to anthropomorphise machines we start to give them power.

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