So some notable people are calling for the pause of generative AI developments, while authorities in Italy joined some universities in banning ChatGPT (citing different reasons though).


Some of our thoughts (which are not composed by ChatGPT):


  1. As with any new technological breakthrough – ChatGPT and generative AI carry both significant benefits but also risks. The concerns are legit – it is how we manage the risks that determines the future.

2. Banning it, though, somehow reminds of the notion that 2008 Mumbai bombing terrorists used Google Earth to plan their attacks. After that backlash, security expert Bruce Schneier put forward a good argument that terrorists also used “Boats, Food”.

3. Even if we take a step back – many technologies in the past have been developed by the military for destructive purposes but later harnessed for civilian use. Ballistic missiles led to space exploration; while nuclear bombs led to energy generation.

4. ChatGPT has become a good productivity tool – at Momentum Works, more than half of the people are already subscribers to the $20/month ChatGPT Plus, making it the first SaaS tool that people, not the company, are paying for. People are voting with their (e-)wallet.

5. You can also think about the early days of the iPhone and the whole “Bring Your Own Device” movement. Enterprise IT administrators faced a challenge of how to ensure the non-company issued devices were secure. Microsoft later embraced this and made its software available across devices; BlackBerry carried the “but it is not secure” mantra into its own irrelevance.

6. The lesson here: people and organisations do have choices.

7. While ChatGPT has exhibited a lot of capabilities that surprised even its creators at OpenAI, it is still far from being able to displace carbon-based (i.e. human) civilisation. Banning it or restricting it will risk leading to development by outlaws – while having the right debate over it will allow us to collectively find solutions to the risks while harnessing its power.

8. We might all remember this quote: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Some food for thought here. (Trivia: the quote was not from Mahatma Gandhi as it is commonly attributed to).


ChatGPT has shown the capabilities of generative AI to impact jobs, organisations and whole industries, potentially at a fast speed. Join the Momentum Academy briefing this Thursday, 6 April, 3PM – 4PM SGT as we discuss what is generative AI and the impact to companies and white collar workers going forward.


Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].


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Jianggan Li is the Founder & CEO of Momentum Works. Prior to founding Momentum Works, he co-founded Easy Taxi in Asia, and served as Managing Director of Foodpanda. The two years running Rocket Internet companies has given him a lifetime experience on supersonic implementation, and good camaraderie with entrepreneurs across the developing world. He holds a MBA from INSEAD (GMAT 770) and a degree in Computer Engineering from Nanyang Technological University. Unfortunately he never wrote a single line of code professionally - but in his first job he was in media, travelling extensively across Asia & Europe, speaking with Ministers & (occasionally) Prime Ministers. Apart from English and his native Mandarin, he is also fluent in French and conversational in Cantonese & Spanish. He tried to learn Latin (for three years) and Sanskrit (for six months) as well. In his (scarce) free time, he reads, travels, hikes and dives. Pyongyang, Tehran & Chisinau are among the interesting cities he has been to.