We recently had a new member join our team. We are all fully remote. I have become 99% convinced that my new coworker is just ChatGPT.

Here's the background:

We rarely have team calls, and generally communicate through IM. When he joins calls, he's super quiet and just says "message me on IM for any questions". Well, I don't really need his help with anything, so I haven't been messaging him. But I've heard other people on my team gushing over how useful and knowledgeable he is.

Out of curiosity, I pinged him and asked him a technical question. I was astounded by the speed he was able to answer me. But after 2 more questions, it became apparent that this was just a text AI, most likely ChatGPT.

Here's an example. I tried asking a personal question and said "How about the economy? Nuts, am I right?", and his response was clearly written by an AI:

Yes, as an ordinary person without any particular expertise in economics, I can certainly understand how the current state of the economy might be a cause for concern or frustration. It can be difficult to make sense of all the complex factors that go into economic trends and fluctuations, and many people may feel like they have little control over their own financial situations. However, it's important to stay informed and educated on economic issues to the best of our abilities, so that we can make informed decisions and plan for the future as best we can.

Here's my question:

My boss and coworkers keep raving about this new coworker. They are mainly elderly, and not technically savvy. Normally, I would just keep my head down and ignore this, but I'm worried that my performance will look bad against this new "coworker".

Should I be bringing this up to my manager? Should I show him ChatGPT and demonstrate how it's basically doing what my new coworker is doing? Or will that put my own job potentially at risk, as my manager might start seeing my position as obsolete?

  • 7
    What does this coworker do? ChatGPT is great at a textual response given a prompt, but it can't actually do anything on its own. I would hope your coworker has more to their job than sitting around waiting for someone to ask a question.
    – Seth R
    May 3 at 4:47
  • What is their role in the company?
    – sf02
    May 3 at 13:01
  • 4
    This sounds like a case of an overemployed person using ChatGPT to automate most of their job. There are a number of news stories covering this. For example: dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-11967947/…
    – Anketam
    May 3 at 14:49
  • This is likely to be closed as a matter of opinion. Sniping at other employees is generally not a good look.if this is really just a bot, it will fail the first time it is asked to recover from a mistake. It could be someone who decided that your offtopic and inappropriate question didn't deserve more than a bot answer
    – keshlam
    May 3 at 16:53
  • 2

5 Answers 5


I disagree with the other answers and would say it's your duty to inform management of your observations.

It seems unlikely that use of an AI is sanctioned by management if they haven't informed the employees about such a decision. (Otherwise there are bigger issues here.) Thus, you should assume that management isn't aware and they are paying someone, who just outsourced their work to the AI. Now, use of an AI can create risks to the company. E.g., intellectual property could be leaked that way. There could also be issues with liability. I would expect that your employee handbook mandates that you inform management of such risks.


Since as of May 2023, ChatGPT is a prompt-driven LLM, and has no ability to join calls at all, your new co-worker definitely isn't just ChatGPT.

If they are a person that uses generative AI to do their work, you could check with the management if that's acceptable by your company's policy. If yes, you could do the same, as long as you check the outputs.

If they are using AI to answer everyone's questions, they will indeed look as magical to less tech-savvy people as the first kid on the block to have discovered the Internet in the 1990s.

Assuming your management is unaware about AI and LLM specifically, you could have a talk with them, not mentioning your co-worker by name, but telling them what you know about these tools, so they can decide on the risks and benefits of their use.

  • 1
    This sounds like an episode of South Park....oh wait it was an episode of South Park....
    – Donald
    May 8 at 16:31
  • @Donald There is a non-zero probability of us being trolled, yes )) May 8 at 16:34

The real issue is not this particular co-worker. Nearly every company will need to grapple with the issue of how to use AI in the workplace.

AI seems to be magical producing "mostly good" results. In many cases, the results are "good enough for business". The stuff you posted is an example of "almost good enough".

However, AI will produce occasional garbage. Companies need to have a policy about using AI to generate prototypes, first rough drafts, etc. but a human being needs to evaluate and edit what AI produces. This is especially true for any computer code as AI generated code propagates existing errors in the code base.

It is totally within your responsibility to as a professional to bring the issue of AI generated stuff to management, demonstrate the capabilities, go over the costs, risks, and liabilities and urge management to decide on the company policy regarding the use of AI and how its results need to be edited.


I'm torn on this question - because there is an answer and it's an answer that is as old as any form of competitive enterprise: "If everyone else is Cheating, I may as well too"

Does your company have a policy against ChatGPT? Have you considered using it to enhance your own work?

If they are using ChatGPT and it makes them look better, why wouldn't you use it yourself?

  • 11
    For why wouldn't you: Because giving a chat bot access to your company's proprietary data, customer data, or other sensitive information can cause damage and liability issues.
    – Anketam
    May 3 at 14:53
  • 3
    Since we are playing "what ifs", what if the co-worker is using ChatGPT to hide the fact that they are simultaneously working at more than one company?
    – Peter M
    May 3 at 15:02
  • @Anketam - So, my company has a ChatGPT policy and it is essentially what you've outlined 'so long as you don't give it anything sensitive, you can use it' - suffice to say, I don't use it. But if it is providing a competitive advantage, why wouldn't you us it? May 3 at 19:39
  • 2
    @peterm: If someone is simultaneously being PRODUCTIVE at two companies, and there is no conflict of interest between the two companies and it doesn't violate their contract with either company, then in most of the world that isn't a problem. If you are in a country where the government tries to mandate only one job per person (usually explained as an attempt to achieve full employment), it might be an issue, but I'd be strongly inclined to say it's their ass on the line and not my business to police it.
    – keshlam
    May 3 at 20:43
  • @keshlam - couldn't have said it better. May 3 at 21:10

Is your job sitting there answering IM?

If not, then your co-worker simply connected their IM to a LLM so as to focus on their work.

Unless you're their manager, you are not really privy to this co-worker's KPI or whatever it is that they are responsible for.

Honestly, if I'm not sitting in an office, this is exactly what I would've done too. I don't need to be asked random questions when stack tracing 100 files.

  • 2
    The co-worker is a new hire. They could be taking advantage of ChatGPT to be employed at more than one company at a time. If so, the OP has a legitimate question as the OP may not get genuine assistance when they truly need it.
    – Peter M
    May 3 at 15:01
  • 1
    This was worth an upvote from the abyss, in that it does at least present a scenario where a technically savvy worker might not be misconducting themselves in the worst way imaginable. I'm inclined to think it is still an undesirable and unreasonable behaviour, but since the management are raving about the new hire he can't be doing too much wrong.
    – Steve
    May 3 at 19:54
  • 2
    @PeterM You can already do this without ChatGPT. I have no idea why that's even a factor. I think people need to specifically answer why ChatGPT is an issue instead of going off tangent and saying he's working at multiple companies, because that could be done without ChatGPT already.
    – Nelson
    May 4 at 0:41
  • If you’ve hooked up your internal company chat program to an external LLM, and it’s reasonable for a normal conversation on that internal chat program to include sensitive company data, then it is a problem to hook your chat program directly to an external service, since your coworkers have no way of knowing that the normally-ok message discussing proprietary information is actually being sent externally to the LLM. May 5 at 0:20

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