Sam Altman
Sam Altman believes ChatGPT will play a key role in advancing education, healthcare and coding industries. Wikimedia Commons

Since its release in November 2022, ChatGPT has been used to perform multiple tasks such as helping students, writing cover letters, writing essays, drafting emails, job interview preparation and planning trips. However, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman believes the AI-powered chatbot is particularly useful for workers in 3 specific industries.

Altman and Bill Gates discussed the past, present, and future of ChatGPT in the sixth episode of the Microsoft founder's podcast, "Unconfuse Me".

The duo also dived into the industries that are likely to take full advantage of OpenAI's widely popular AI bot.

"Coding is probably the single area from a productivity gain we're most excited about today. It's massively deployed and at scaled usage, at this point," Altman said.

The top executive believes ChatGPT will turn out to be extremely useful for the healthcare and education industries as well. "I didn't expect ChatGPT to get so good," Gates told Altman, referencing the improvements OpenAI has been rolling out lately.

For instance, the AI startup recently announced the Archive Chats feature that allows users to organise and revisit conversations. However, Altman noted that today's AI systems "certainly can't do [those] jobs".

Still, workers in the abovementioned fields are likely to benefit from using ChatGPT as a productivity tool, he said.


According to Altman, programmers can finish their work almost 3 times faster than usual by using ChatGPT. The AI system can come in handy in performing several tasks including reviewing written code for mistakes, answering programmer's questions, writing test cases and generating new code without human intervention.

In contrast, a 2023 study from researchers at Stanford University and UC Berkeley found that GPT-4, OpenAI's large language model (LLM), does not provide accurate answers to programming questions nearly half of the time.

Moreover, in the unreviewed paper on the open-access journal, researchers noted that the "performance and behaviour" of ChatGPT LLMs changed between March and June 2023.

So, coders who use ChatGPT to expedite the work should proceed with caution and double-check the answers provided by the chatbot. This process will take less time than performing those tasks manually.

However, Altman noted that the goal is to give people more free time to think outside of the box rather than just help coders do more work in less time.

"They can — at that higher level of abstraction, using more of their brainpower — they can now think of totally different things. It's like [how] going from punch cards to higher level languages didn't just let us program a little faster, it let us do these qualitatively new things," Altman said.


Currently, teachers can use AI systems to perform tasks like designing a curriculum and personalising lessons for specific students. Aside from this, the AI system can facilitate arduous administrative tasks like sending automated assignment reminders and tracking attendance.

Gates has previously indicated that generative AI models like ChatGPT can replace human teachers in the coming years. He believes AI-powered tutors could play key roles in improving students' reading and writing skills.

"The AIs will get to that ability, to be as good a tutor as any human ever could," Gates said in a keynote talk at the ASU+GSV Summit in San Diego last April.

However, some educators are concerned about students using ChatGPT to cheat on assignments. While data shared by a separate 2023 research suggests there is no uptick in cheating, Barnard College psychologist Dr Tovah Klein told CNBC Make It that parents and teachers must remind students to never rely solely on AI.


Last year, ChatGPT passed the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE), but National Library of Medicine experts have warned against trusting the AI chatbot.

Nevertheless, AI tools can act as digital assistants and minimise the time taken to perform administrative tasks like insurance paperwork, according to American Medical Association president Jesse Ehrenfeld.

These tools can analyse research and summarise patients' medical histories while saving time and educating medical patients by providing answers to their most frequently asked questions.

Moreover, some pharmaceutical companies are using ChatGPT to simplify the process of discovering and researching new drugs, Gates noted in a 2023 blog post.

"One of the Gates Foundation's priorities in AI is to make sure these tools are used for the health problems that affect the poorest people in the world, including AIDS, [tuberculosis], and malaria," he wrote.