Can ChatGPT be your new life coach?

Can ChatGPT help you improve your diet, or plan for your retirement? The answer, it seems, is yes – but the popular AI tool does have its limits.

Type “ChatGPT” and “life coach” into TikTok and you’ll see multiple posts from people using it for exactly that.

After all, it’s totally convenient, and it’s free.

There’s Mellyssa Viele from Toronto who revealed to 11,000 followers that she used the popular AI software to devise an endometriosis-friendly meal plan.

It not only catered to the amount of calories the 25-year-old wanted, but it was also able to take into account what she already had in her freezer, and prepare a shopping list.

Productivity coach Donna McGeorge says while the AI bot can’t assess whether your pulse is raised or your pupils are dilated in the same way a human life coach can, it can provide advice on a whole range of topics you might typically discuss with a “live” instructor.

And with up to 80 per cent of people who receive coaching saying they find it helpful, it may be worth giving ChatGPT a go.

How ChatGPT can put the ‘life’ into online coaching

“You can tell it you’re a 56-year-old woman, you have ‘x’ amount of wealth and you’re not where you’d like to be financially, and ask for strategies to plan for your retirement,” Donna says.

But, she adds, you need to remember that ChatGPT is only as good as the information you enter.

“So, tell it you want it to be a professional mentor with 20 years’ experience in helping women reach their financial goals, and then feed it as many facts about yourself and your situation as you can,” Donna says.

“You also have to tell it what kind of life coach you want it to be – if you want Brené Brown or Tony Robbins, instruct it and ChatGPT will draw on everything it knows, which is a lot.”

Why human coaches are better for complex matters

“We’re also doing a lot of different research with ChatGPT and on how it might work in the life coaching space,” digital strategist and Dark Horse Agency founder Nicole Jameson says.

“Basically, what we’re finding is that this is an amazing tool that can be used for a lot of fairly simplistic tasks.”

For example, Nicole says, if you ask ChatGPT to give you a vegetarian menu at 1200 calories a day, with a shopping list for the week that includes kale – with those kinds of parameters – it will customise something for you.

“It can replicate lowbrow, and it can take away a lot of the mundane tasks and free up your time – so travel itineraries, diary management, menu planning – but ultimately, a really good life coach has a humanity and a connectability that ChatGPT doesn’t have,” she says.

“The bot isn’t going to pick up on your body language and your tone of voice like humans can.”

Ready to give ChatGPT life coaching a go?

Donna says take your time with ChatGPT coaching and don’t give up after the first go.

“You can ask it to write you an exercise plan that targets your legs and core and it will, but it’s not going to know you have recurring back pain unless you inform it,” she says.

“It can help you identify the routines and habits you’ll need to achieve your goals, but try different ways of phrasing things and get it to ask you questions back for better results.”

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Written by Liz McGrath.